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Jailed in Iran, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe pens an emotional letter for daughter's birthday Open in fullscreen

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Jailed in Iran, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe pens an emotional letter for daughter's birthday

A photo of Nazanin and her daughter Gabriella is seen during a birthday vigil [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 June, 2019

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Jailed UK-Iranian dual citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe celebrated her daughter's fifth birthday in prison, where she has been held since 2016.

Jailed British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe wrote an emotional letter to her five-year-old daughter for her fifth birthday on Tuesday.

The letter, published by the Mirror, revealed that Zaghari-Ratcliffe's daughter Gabriella asked to celebrate her fifth birthday in prison with her mother.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, a UK-Iranian dual citizen, was jailed by Tehran authorities in 2016 as she was leaving Iran after taking her infant daughter to visit her family. Her daughter has resided with her maternal grandparents in Tehran since the arrest.

She was accused of plotting against the government and handed a five-year jail sentence for sedition.

"You lit up the visiting room," Zaghari-Ratcliffe wrote, describing her daughter's Sunday visit.

"I know that the road to take us home might still be long. There might still be bumps. But we will go home. Together we will be a family again."

She described how her daughter's positivity helps her "in times of hardship".

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband Richard Ratcliffe has been campaigning tirelessly for her release. He has been denied a visit visa to Iran and hasn't seen his daughter or wife since 2016.

His daughter's fifth birthday in particular is heartbreaking for the couple because they planned to enrol her in school in the UK at that age, he told the Mirror.

"Nazanin talks of she and Gabriella coming home together - I don't think she has given up hope of that."

The Guardian reported in May that Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release could be dependent on the payment of a £400 million debt owed by the UK government to Iran from a 30-year-old British tank sale.

The UK granted Zaghari-Ratcliffe - who is suffering from health issues - diplomatic protection in March in a bid to free her.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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