Boris Johnson apologizes for endangering jailed aid worker in Iran

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

FOREIGN Secretary Boris Johnson has heeded calls to condemn Iran's detention of the wife of a Farnham man, and offered to visit her in prison.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was sentenced to five years after being convicted by an Iranian court of plotting to overthrow the Islamic Republic's clerical establishment. She denies the charges.

"I do apologize. Of course I retract any suggestion she was there in a professional capacity", Johnson told the British parliament on November 13.

"The prime minister has been involved with this case from the outset, she's raised it with the Iranian president on at least two occasions, the entire government is working towards securing her release as quickly as possible".

He said that he would seek to meet Zaghari-Ratcliffe during his planned trip.

Charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, wife of Farnham's Richard Ratcliffe, has been held in Tehran since her arrest by Iran's Revolutionary Guard in April 2016.

Why is Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in jail?

Iran's state-controlled television had seized on his remarks and claimed it was an implicit admission of guilt.

Johnson later said his remarks could have been clearer and there was no doubt she had been on holiday, although opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said he should resign.

"He has requested to come to Tehran".

"Nazanin is no longer simply a consular case as she has been endangered in a deeper way", he wrote.

This led United Nations human rights experts to express "grave" concerns for her welfare, calling on the Iranian authorities to release her at once.

Responding to Mr Tugendhat, he said: "I assure him that no stone will be left unturned in our efforts".

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