(ConservativeHub.com) – A British worker detained for nearly six years in Iran is finally on her way home. Iran convicted Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who holds dual citizenship, in 2016 of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government, a charge she adamantly denies. Authorities arranged for her and another British citizen to leave Tehran this week.
In 2016, Iranian authorities arrested Zaghari-Ratcliffe at an airport in Tehran as she attempted to return home from vacation. Some speculate that Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who served as foreign secretary when Iran detained Ratcliffe, bungled the negotiations early on in her sentence when he said she was teaching journalism in the country. Her employer, Thomson Reuters Foundation, insists she was merely in the country on vacation visiting her family and not working as a journalist.
UK charity worker returning home from Iran after nearly six year detainment https://t.co/43gUMgDnln pic.twitter.com/6DD8ZgpJyo
— The Hill (@thehill) March 16, 2022
Authorities released Ratcliffe to house arrest in 2020, and then, last year, authorities removed her ankle tag. Instead of granting her freedom, authorities then charged her with “propaganda activities,” prompting Sacha Deshmukh, chief executive of Amnesty International U.K., to describe her as a political pawn.
British officials recently visited Tehran with hopes of negotiating the release of Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori, another dual citizen. Months of negotiations were reportedly necessary to ensure the two could return home. According to a report from the BBC, the relationship between the two countries had soured over a $500-million debt Britain owed to Iran over a canceled order of 1,500 tanks.
Earlier this week, the Iran government returned Ratcliffe’s passport, boosting her hopes she’d eventually be able to return to her husband and daughter. She and Ashoori finally made it back home, and Ratcliffe had an emotional reunion with her family upon arriving in the UK.
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