John­son bid to bring home Brit held in Iran


Manchester Evening News - - WORLD -

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.

Boris John­son

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