British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is RELEASED from Iranian prison for two weeks 

British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is RELEASED from Iranian jail for two weeks after 85,000 prisoners are freed to stop coronavirus spread

British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been released from Iranian prison today as part of prisoner release.

She was among thousands of prisoners temporarily released from jail by the government in Tehran because of the coronavirus outbreak, her husband said.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was released from Evin Prison at 3pm local time, as one of thousands of Iranian prisoners who have been released temporarily to rapid spread of coronavirus in Iran. 

Her movements will be restricted to 300m from her parents’ home in Tehran and she will be required to wear an ankle tag.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged the Iranian regime to ‘ensure she receives any necessary medical care’ while on temporary release.

He said in a statement: ‘I am relieved that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was today temporarily released into the care of her family in Iran.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe during a video call with her husband

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was seen wearing an ankle tag (left) after her temporary release from an Iranian prison today and (right) in a video call with her husband, Richard 

‘We urge the regime to ensure she receives any necessary medical care. While this is a welcome step, we urge the government now to release all UK dual nationals arbitrarily detained in Iran, and enable them to return to their families in the UK.’

Tulip Siddiq MP said Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was released on furlough for two weeks from the Iranian jail where she has been held. 

She said: ‘We are pleased and relieved that Nazanin will be with her family rather than in jail at this time of terrible chaos and uncertainty.

‘However, we have been here before and know from past experience that Nazanin will be treated like a prisoner in her own home. The UK Government must get reassurances from Iran that she won’t be harassed or intimidated while on temporary release.

‘Ministers should also be doing absolutely everything they can to make this release permanent. This includes resolving the debt we owe to Iran and making Nazanin’s case a deal-breaker in their ongoing negotiations with the Iranian Government.’

Raab earlier hinted that British-Iranian nationals held in Iranian prisons could be granted temporary release amid the coronavirus outbreak.

British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and their daughter Gabriella

British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and their daughter Gabriella

The Foreign Secretary told MPs he wanted to be ‘careful and wait until I’ve got actual confirmation’ after outlining that the British authorities are waiting to hear back on individual cases from their Iranian counterparts.

Iran has released 85,000 prisoners on temporary leave in a bid to curb the spread of the virus, with Western nations pushing for the release of dual nationals.

British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is among those held in Evin jail in Tehran.

Speaking in the Commons today, Conservative former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt asked: ‘Does he know if Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is amongst the political prisoners that Iran has today released?

‘And does not the ability of a highly dangerous disease to spread through a prison not highlight the immorality of detaining people who are wholly innocent?’

Mr Raab praised Mr Hunt for his work in trying to secure the release of all British-Iranian nationals, adding: ‘I spoke to the foreign minister yesterday, I’ve made clear not least as Iran considers releasing prisoners on a pretty large scale that there is no excuse for not releasing all of the UK dual nationals on furlough.

‘We’re waiting for confirmation in relation to individual cases but I can assure him we’re getting – I want to be careful and wait until I’ve got actual confirmation – but this is a high priority for the Government and I raised it, as I say, with foreign minister (Javad Zarif) yesterday.’

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport while travelling to show her young daughter, Gabriella, to her parents in April 2016.

She was sentenced to five years in prison over allegations, which she denies, of plotting to overthrow the Tehran government.

She was later afforded diplomatic protection by the UK Government, which argues that she is innocent and that her treatment by Iran failed to meet obligations under international law.