Johnson bid to bring home Brit held in Iran
DIPLOMATIC PROTECTION MOVE
BORIS JOHNSON is to meet the husband of jailed British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe tomorrow to discuss the possibility of her being offered “diplomatic protection” as part of Government efforts to secure her return from Iran.
Downing Street confirmed that the Foreign Office is looking into the possible use of the status after Richard Ratcliffe spoke with the Foreign Secretary by phone at the weekend.
It is thought that legal advice will have to be taken before determining whether the status – which would raise Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s plight from a consular case to a formal dispute between the two countries – is the best method for speeding her release.
Mr Johnson returned from Brussels to answer an urgent question on the case in the House of Commons, amid continuing concern that his suggestion to a parliamentary committee that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was training journalists in Iran has exposed her to the threat of the doubling of her five-year jail sentence. Mr Ratcliffe described diplomatic protection as the “crucial next step” in the campaign for his wife’s release. “She is a British citizen, so she is eligible,” he said.
People sit on the rubble of a destroyed house in Darbandikhan, Iraq