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Allow British-Iranian aid worker to return home, UK PM Johnson tells Rouhani

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe must be allowed to return home to be with her family.

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“The prime minister raised the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other British-Iranian dual nationals detained in Iran and demanded their immediate release,” a statement from Johnson’s office said after a call with Rouhani on Wednesday.

“He (Johnson) said that while the removal of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s ankle monitor was welcome, her continued confinement remains completely unacceptable and she must be allowed to return to her family in the UK.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation charity, was arrested at a Tehran airport in April 2016 and convicted of plotting to overthrow the clerical establishment. She denied the charges.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe served a five-year sentence which ended on Sunday. An ankle bracelet was removed, allowing her freedom to travel in Iran, but she still cannot leave the country, as she has been ordered to appear for a new court case on March 14 on charges of propaganda against the Iranian state.

Johnson also restated Britain’s commitment to making a success of a multilateral 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, and urged Rouhani to end Iranian breaches of the terms of that deal that began after the US withdrew from it in 2018.

“He stressed the importance of Iran seizing the opportunity presented by the US’ willingness to return to the deal if Iran comes back into compliance,” the statement said.

Iran has so far refused to take part in a meeting brokered by the European Union between world powers and the US on reviving the deal.

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