Iran holding Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in jail over ‘historic debt’ with Britain

Rima Maktabi
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In an interview with Al Arabiya, the husband of a British aid worker currently in jail with her infant daughter in Tehran confirmed a judge said Iran was holding the two over an interest rate to calculate historic debt that Britain “was owed for a long time”.

Richard Ratcliffe, husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, said that a judge told his wife that “when that is sorted then she will be freed”.


Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual citizen, is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for spying charges, which she denies. They also accused her of links to mass protests in 2009, which she also denies.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's lawyers have requested she is released temporarily to her parents' house, as fears mount over her mental health while the case drags on.

The couple's young daughter, Gabriella, was in Iran with her mother at the time of her detention and has remained there in the care of relatives.

Her husband Richard told Al Arabiya that his wife is currently being kept in Evin Prison but that “she is entitled to a furlough”.

“The judge is suggesting to move her into a secure flat and placing her under house arrest with my daughter. It might be a nice prison, but it is still a prison,” he said.

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