Richard Ratcliffe, husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has asked the new British foreign secretary Liz Truss to make his wife’s case the ‘top priority’, ahead of her meeting with the Iranian foreign minister to call for the immediate release of detained UK nationals.
In BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr. Ratcliffe said he has given the names of 10 people he accuses of being involved with “hostage-taking” in Iran to Truss ahead of a phone call with her on Sunday.
“We’ve put in front of the new foreign secretary a file of names, those who are involved in Iran’s hostage-taking across the chain, so those involved in taking people, processing them, giving them judges, those who are involved in treating them badly in prison,” Ratcliffe said.
“I’ve got a phone call with the foreign secretary today, to be speaking to her two days into the job is a positive sign for sure.
“Partly I just want to hear that this is a top priority and that Nazanin and the others who are being held as bargaining chips will be brought home,” he added.
Mrs. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual national, has been in custody in Iran since 2016 after being accused of plotting to overthrow the government.
Iranian media has linked her detention to the UK’s failure to pay an outstanding £400 million debt to Iran.
Ms. Truss later said she will push for UK nationals trapped in Iran to be released during a meeting with Hossein Amir-Abdollahian at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday.
Mr. Ratcliffe has been campaigning tirelessly to have his wife released from prison and urged former foreign secretary Dominic Raab to take a firmer stand against Iran over the issue.
“One of the key problems I feel these past years is there’s been no cost for the Iranian side to carry on holding Nazanin, to carry on holding others, and so we’ve seen that now there are more British citizens in prison than there were when Nazanin was first taken,” he said. (Source: Arab News)