Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Husband Urges British Government to Be “Much Tough” on Iran on Wife Detention While Hunger Strike Continues | News from the UK

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband has asked the British government to be “much tougher on Iran” as it continues its hunger strike outside the Foreign Office for the third week.

Richard Ratcliffe staged his 16-day protest in central London in an attempt to persuade the government to do more to secure his wife’s release.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe she has been detained in Tehran since 2016, when she was accused of plotting to overthrow the government.

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in Iranian custody since 2016

She was taking her daughter Gabriella to see her family when she was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison.

The final year of her sentence was spent under house arrest in Tehran, but after her release earlier this year she was condemned for “spreading propaganda against the regime”.

Ratcliffe said he was “quite cold” during his hunger strike last week, but is still urging the British government to step up efforts to bring his wife home and let Iran know there are “consequences” to “play these games”. “.

He told Kay Burley on Sky News: “They (the government) clearly were working very hard in the summer to negotiate a deal and that deal clearly fell apart. Nazanin’s new ruling, which came three weeks ago, has it’s a sign.

“The Iranians they are threatening him, but soon they will throw her back in jail.

“So the first question was that they (the UK) did something to stop it and that there were consequences for Iran for playing these games, which the government was not keen to do.

“I don’t think the government’s approach to Iranian hostage-taking is effective. Five and a half years prove it.”

Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family were reportedly informed by Iranian officials that she was detained because the UK failed to pay an outstanding £ 400 million debt to Iran.

Ratcliffe said: “I think they have to pay their debt – that’s why Nazanin was taken. We have lost five and a half years of our lives due to unpaid debts and more have been taken since.

“But they also need to be much tougher on Iran.

“For example, this week the Iranian Vice President was hosted in Glasgow and was drunk and dined – in fact, he should be challenged much more that it is no good when British citizens are held hostage.”

He added that he plans to continue his hunger strike for “a few more days” to try to get the British government to act more.

Claudia Winkleman and Victoria Coren Mitchell as they meet and talk with Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of Iranian inmate Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, outside the Foreign Office in London, during his ongoing hunger strike after his wife lost her final appeal. in Iran.  Picture date: Monday, November 8, 2021.
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Claudia Winkleman (left) and Victoria Coren Mitchell with Mr Ratcliffe in London

She said: “Gabriella needs two parents – she doesn’t need either of them. I think the Iranian delegation ended up in the UK this week. I would like to continue while I’m here.

“I wrote to the Foreign Office again this morning to say, ‘listen, I’m still waiting for a response to requests – are you going to do some?’

“So it’s going to take a few more days, but I’m starting to get a little squeakier, slower mentally, definitely a lot slower physically and I feel the cold. Take it almost a day at a time at this point.”

Meanwhile, Strictly Come Dancing co-host Claudia Winkleman and writer and presenter Victoria Coren Mitchell visited Ratcliffe in London as broad support for his protest continues.

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