British-Iranian woman held for years in Tehran face fresh charge

LONDON – A British-Iranian woman was held in Iran in 2016 after being detained for years while the family is facing additional charges for visiting, Iranian state television announced on Tuesday, one such Steps that could deepen the diplomatic deadlock in the case.

A 41-year-old woman, Nazneen Zagari-Ratcliffe, was sentenced to five years in prison after allegations by Iranian authorities of plotting to overthrow the government of Iran – allegations that she, her family and international rights groups have long held Is denied.

According to an Iranian state television website that cited an unnamed official, a “new indictment” was reported to Ms. Zagari-Ratcliffe and her attorney this morning. More information about additional charges was not mentioned.

British Parliament member Tulip Siddiq, who represents Ms. Zagari-Ratcliffe’s London area, posted on Twitter that she was in contact with the family and “can confirm that she was taken to court this morning Gaya and told that she will face another test on Sunday. “

Ms Zagari-Ratcliffe, who was working as a program director at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was visiting the UK in Tehran in April 2016 after a visit with her family when she was detained at the airport. He was eventually put on trial for treason and jailed in the infamous Evin prison in the Iranian capital.

He said that he spent a long time in solitude and that his mental and physical health has deteriorated several times, his family said. Last year, his daughter, Gabriella, now 6 years old, resided in Iran with her father Richard Ratcliffe for years after living with her mother’s family.

Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s years of detention have strained the already deteriorating diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran. Mr Ratcliffe, her husband, who has been an outspoken advocate for her release, has said that she believes bail to his wife as collateral in a dispute over a loan given by Iran over a decade-old UK loan Being used as. Tank in the 1970s.

This week, the British Secretary of Defense, Ben Wallace, accepted a loan of up to $ 530 million, according to a report in The Guardian newspaper, which he said the government tried to resolve. Was getting it done. Issue.

Iran has prosecuted several other dual nationals and foreign visitors in recent years on national security or espionage charges. Rights groups say the country is effectively using negotiating chips in negotiation with other countries.

In recent months, Iran began loosening some restrictions on Ms. Zagari-Ratcliffe. She was released to her family home in March as Coronovirus ravaged the prison where she was being held, leading her to hope that she might be granted amnesty and that she could return to Britain.

That temporary relief has been extended several times, but Ms. Zagari-Ratcliffe is still not allowed to leave Iran.