Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe speaks of ‘tough’ path to freedom and calls for release of other detainees in Iran

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe spoke in public for the first time after her release from detention in Iran

Monday, 21st March 2022, 12:45 pm
<p>Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe reunited with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella</p>

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe reunited with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe criticised the fact it took five changes of foreign secretary before she was released, saying “what happened now should have happened six years ago.”

The 43-year-old, who landed back in Britain on Thursday after the UK finally agreed to settle a £400 million debt dating back to the 1970s, was joined by her husband, Richard, in making statements at Portcullis House at midday.

Speaking at the conference she said it had been a “tough journey”, and the “meaning of freedom is never going to be complete” until other dual nationals are released and reunited with their families.

She also said: “What’s happened now should have happened six years ago.

“I should not have been in prison for six years”

Ahead of the conference, the couple attended a private meeting with Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle, joined by their local MP, Tulip Siddiq, who long campaigned for her return.

Ms Siddiq, Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn and shadow economic secretary to the Treasury, paid tribute to Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family saying: “My constituents are an ordinary family thrust into extraordinary circumstances.”

She added: “It was a family who never gave up hope.”

Mr Radcliffe said: “It’s been a long struggle”.

He said he was “immensely proud” of his wife, and said there were “lots of thanks yous” to say to those who helped bring her home.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was jailed on security charges after being detained in 2016 at Imam Khomeini Airport following a holiday visit to Iran, where she introduced her daughter to her parents.

Fellow British-Iranian Anoosheh Ashoori, 67, was returned home at the same time as Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

He was arrested in August 2017 while visiting his elderly mother in Tehran.

He was detained in Evin Prison for almost five years, having been accused of spying.

Both have consistently denied the allegations.

This article will continue to be updated