Dominic Raab, Britain’s foreign secretary, has called on the Iranian government to end the “cruel and intolerable ordeal” endured by Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe as she faced another court case – despite having her ankle tag removed on Sunday.
Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a charity worker, was jailed in Iran five years ago on spying charges that she has always denied and has been under house arrest in Tehran since March 2020.
Her lawyer, Hojjat Kermani, said she was “in good shape and happy to be released”, but said it was not clear if she could leave Iran and fly to London to join her husband Richard Ratcliffe imminently.
Mr Ratcliffe said that a new court case against her is scheduled for next Sunday.
Mr Raab criticised the Iranian government in a statement. “She must be released permanently so she can return to her family in the UK. We will continue to do all we can to achieve this,” the foreign secretary said. “We have relayed to the Iranian authorities in the strongest possible terms that her continued confinement is unacceptable.”
Tulip Siddiq, the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, said Zaghari-Ratcliffe — a former resident of the London borough — would be able to visit her elderly grandmother now her ankle tag has been removed.
“On one hand they are celebrating that she has some elements of freedom in terms of not having the tracker anymore,” the MP said.
But the 42-year-old dual national, who has a six-year old daughter, has still not received her British passport.
“She does have to go back to court and we don’t know what awaits her there,” Siddiq said. “Nazanin is quite worried because there was talk of another case being put against her which may of course mean another sentence, and we don’t know how long for.”