Thank you for contacting me about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her husband Richard who is still camping outside of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Firstly I want to clearly and strongly condemn the Iranian authorities’ imprisonment of dual British-Iranian nationals and believe they should be released immediately.
Nazanin’s original five-year prison sentence ended on 7 March 2021. Cruelly, she was subsequently given a new one-year sentence and banned from leaving Iran for a further year. On 16 October 2021, Nazanin lost an appeal against these new charges.
This situation is understandably deeply distressing for Nazanin and her family, and my thoughts continue to be with them during this difficult time. I have met Richard and I know the personal impact it is having on him is profound. Nazanin must be permanently released and allowed to return to the UK.
Clearly the Government’s approach to securing the release of UK nationals unfairly imprisoned in Iran has not worked to date. It is evident that there has been a sustained failure of British diplomacy.
Therefore the Government must pursue concrete steps, such as imposing human rights sanctions, to pressure the Iranian authorities to bring an end to Nazanin’s ordeal.
I will continue to follow developments closely.