UK foreign secretary marks fourth anniversary of British national’s detention in Iran
Truss called on Iranian authorities in a tweet to free the wildlife conservationist, who holds Iranian, American and British citizenship and was arbitrarily detained in 2018 on suspicion of spying.
Families of other detainees in Iran have called Truss's comments significant because she called for the release of “all unfairly detained British nationals” - rather than labelling them as dual nationals, which the British government has repeatedly done in the past.
Sherry Izadi - the wife of Anoosheh Ashoori, a retired engineer who has been arbitrarily imprisoned in Iran for more than four years - told The New Arab that using the term dual national plays into the hands of Tehran, because Iran recognises dual citizens as Iranian citizens only.
"By constantly referring to hostages as dual nationals rather than their correct citizenship, European and British governments are not only helping Iran perpetuate the notion that Iran has a right to detain these unfortunate persons, but also reducing their own responsibility towards their citizens," Izadi said.
Good to see we are finally referred to as British nationals. Time to bring them home NOW https://t.co/szKnmdZPk1— Free Anoosheh (@FreeAnoosheh) January 10, 2022
Izadi said she believed the British government kept using this term in order to avoid responsibility for their continued plight. She said she hopes the British government will now assume full responsibility for the release of UK citizens held without trial in Iran.
Ashoori's detention, and that of charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, have been linked to a historic debt owed by the UK to Iran.
The New Arab reached out to the UK Foreign Office with further questions about Truss’s comments. They told us to refer back to her original tweet.