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Release of jailed British-Iranian Zaghari-Ratcliffe 'deliberately delayed over UK fears of offending Trump' Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Release of jailed British-Iranian Zaghari-Ratcliffe 'deliberately delayed over UK fears of offending Trump'

The UK has stalled the payment of a $524.3 million debt owed to Iran. [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 August, 2020

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The UK government is accused of procrastinating on the release a dual British-Iranian citizen jailed in Tehran.

The UK has allegedly delayed the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a dual British-Iranian citizen jailed in Tehran, to avoid potentially "offending" the Trump administration, The Guardian reported.

Citing lawyers representing Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the Tuesday report said the UK government has deliberately delayed taking steps necessary to secure the release, including putting off the payment of a £400 million ($524.3 million) debt owed to Iran.

The lawyers have requested to meet with UK defence secretary, Ben Wallace, to discuss the official approach to the case.

In a seven-page letter to Wallace reviewed by The Guardian, the lawyers accuse the government of procrastination and claims the UK has not done as much for its nationals as other countries regarding their citizens in Tehran jails.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been under effective house arrest in Tehran since March when she was given temporary release from prison after serving four years.

Read also: Anger as French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah marks one year in Iranian prison

She was jailed in 2016 on spying charges while visiting Iran with her daughter, charges she and and her family strongly deny. 

She was tried and found guilty of "plotting to topple the Iranian regime" and sentenced to five years, which has also been vehemently disputed by her family.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was granted temporary release from Tehran's notorious Evin prison along with 85,000 inmates who were released to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in the hard-hit country.

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