Johnson to raise jailed Briton Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case in Iran trip

Johnson to raise jailed Briton Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case in Iran trip

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is expected to travel to Tehran this weekend in a bid to win the release of a jailed Iranian-British aid worker, the Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday.

Mr Johnson will meet with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, during the trip.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving a five-year sentence over allegations, which she denies, of plotting to overthrow the Tehran government, having been arrested in 2016 during a holiday visit to show her baby daughter Gabriella to her parents.

She is due to face fresh charges of "spreading propaganda" during a court appearance on Sunday.

Saturday's visit to Iran forms part of a three-day trip to the Middle East, also taking in Oman on Friday and the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, in which moves to end humanitarian suffering in war-torn Yemen will be high on the agenda.

"The government remains very concerned about all our dual nationals detained in Iran and has been doing everything it can to make progress on their cases, while approaching them in a way that we judge is in their best interests".

"We fervently hope the Foreign Secretary's visit can secure her speedy release, but if it doesn't we'll go on campaigning".

Since then he has met Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband, Richard Ratcliffe, about calls for her to be provided her with diplomatic protection.

TRF chief executive Monique Villa said recently that the new charges risked a further 16-year prison sentence and were "a mockery of justice".

However, a swift resolution to the saga is unlikely, namely because Iran has refused to recognise Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe's British citizenship and is treating her as an Iranian.

The mother had been visiting Iran with her daughter Gabriella when she was arrested previous year.

The case has become highly politicised, especially after a "slip of the tongue" by Johnson last month when he stated that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been training journalists in Iran.

Mr Johnson's Tehran trip will see him raising the cases of other dual nationals being held in Iran. In reality, she was visiting family in the country.

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