Gaby kisses pictures of her mum on the phone every day
Husband’s agony at Johnson gaffe over Brit in Iran prison
THE husband of jailed Brit Nazanin Zaghari-ratcliffe last night told how their little daughter Gabriella has been left tormented by her mum’s absence.
And thanks to blundering Boris Johnson, the tot’s anguish could be extended by several more years after he claimed the 38-year-old was training journalists in Iran.
Richard Ratcliffe spoke as pressure grew on Theresa May to sack the gaffe-prone Foreign Secretary, who has so far refused to apologise for his dangerous comments.
And 165,000 Brits have signed a petition calling on him to quit.
Iranian state TV insisted Mr Johnson’s comments were ‘proof” Nazanin had been acting against Iran when arrested 18 months ago.
Richard said of three-year-old Gabriella: “She knows that all the other children at nursery have a normal mummy and daddy, and she hasn’t. She got asked by a mum in a park, ‘Where is your mum?’ And Gabriella said, quite matter-of-factly, ‘Oh, she’s in prison.’ But she expects mummy to be home for Christmas. She will see Nazanin’s picture on a news article on a mobile phone, and will kiss the picture of mummy, and give mummy a cuddle.”
Gabriella is living with her grandparents in Iran. Richard, 42, told how the child gets to see Nazanin twice a week in 45 minute visits. He said: “Nazanin has told Gabriella, ‘Mummy and you will be going to see daddy in London for Christmas.’
“But then Gabriella will ask, ‘Is it Christmas today? Is it Christmas tomorrow?’ It’s very difficult.” Richard said it was “not my place or my priority” to call for Mr Johnson to quit. But he does want to take up the Tory’s offer of a meeting to discuss the case and join him on a planned trip to Teheran later this year.
Richard said Nazanin’s parents had watched the state TV bulletin about Mr Johnson’s comments in horror and were left “in a state of shock and disbelief”. Their daughter has been warned the Foreign Secretary’s statement could mean her five-year sentence for alleged spying may be doubled. Mr Johnson withdrew the remark, made last week.
But Iranian TV said on Wednesday his words were the “unintended