Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe To Be Charged With 'Spreading Propaganda'

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe a British Iranian national was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016 and is serving five years for alleged sedition

A British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran after being found guilty of spying has been told that she should expect to be convicted on a revived charge of spreading propaganda against the regime, her husband said yesterday.

The 39-year-old dual citizen was originally detained at Tehran's main global airport in April 2016, when attempting to leave the country after visiting her family for Iranian New Year.

Last week, Mr Ratcliffe said he feared his wife would be taken back to court on a resurrected charge of spreading propaganda against the regime.

If she is convicted, the new charges could add another 16 years on her prison sentence.

She was brought before Judge Abolghassem Salavati of Tehran's hard-line Revolutionary Court on Saturday where she learned that her current lawyer would not be allowed to represent her. I might only have a slim chance'.

Mr Ratcliffe, who met Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in March, said he had been "quite cross and vocal" with United Kingdom authorities at points during her long-running case, and was hoping to meet senior officials at the Foreign Office later this week.

'But those cases do not benefit from public discussion'.

Asked if Mr Ratcliffe could feel reassured by the attention the Foreign Office was giving to his wife's case, Mr Johnson replied: 'He really can, and to be fair I don't think he would deny that'.

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To Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family, the new case is seen as a ploy to delay her release on parole, which has already been reportedly approved by the head of the prison.

He said she had told him she had "no clue why they have started all this nonsense again" in a 5.30am phone call on May 14. "I do not want to overthrow the regime".

Mr Ratcliffe says his wife's time in Tehran's Evin prison, which has included a period in solitary confinement, has left her with mental and physical health problems.

Nazanin's plight risked being made worse past year after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that she had been "training journalists" during her visit to Iran, which her family denies.

"Nazanin asked the ambassador to issue a formal letter of protest, a démarche, at her treatment".

At Saturday's hearing, Zaghari-Ratcliffe appealed to the judge that she be granted temporary freedom to spend time with her daughter, who is turning four in June. She has always denied the claims, and said that she was in the country only because she wanted to introduce her daughter to her parents.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual national who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation - the media organisation's philanthropic arm - was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016. "I didn't have a panic attack this time, but still it is so hard".



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