Iran judge tells British woman to expect conviction on 'propaganda'

Brunilde Fioravanti
Mag 22, 2018

A British woman jailed in Iran after being convicted of spying has been told to expect another conviction after appearing in court over a new "invented" charge, her husband said.

The charge is for "spreading propaganda against the regime", which she denies, he said.

Following Saturday's hearing, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was allowed to phone the new British ambassador to Iran from prison, "the first time she had been allowed any contact with the British embassy in more than two years" says Sky News.

It said: "She updated him on her case and situation, and requested that he try to visit".

During their conversation, she asked hím to visit, and to issue a diplomatic notice protesting against the charges.

It added that she discussed, with both the judge and the ambassador, a request for her to be let out on temporary release for her daughter's fourth birthday next month.

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.

"Therefore we will not be providing a running commentary on every twist and turn", the statement said. I don't want to go there again.

Boris Johnson today insisted "not a day goes by" when the government was not working to get Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe out of jail in Iran. She is now held in Tehran's Evin prison where she is on medication for depression and panic attacks.

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.

He said that his wife appealed to the judge for clemency and asked to be released for her daughter's sake.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's high-profile case has become intertwined with Johnson's political career since he made an erroneous statement previous year, which appeared to complicate her legal situation. "I didn't have a panic attack this time, but still it is so hard".

Speculation has grown in recent months that the detention of the Britons may be tied to a longstanding legal dispute over Iran's 1976 purchase of British tanks that were never delivered. Iranian policy is not making it safe for Iranian citizens'.

"The UK Government remains committed to doing everything possible to help secure Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release and alleviate her suffering".

Downing Street said Mrs May had "raised the issue of consular cases relating to dual nationals now held on charges in Iran" during her call with Mr Rouhani.

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