BBC reporter chokes up as she announces Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is leaving Iran
BBC News

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been freed after six-year detention in Iran, and the newspapers broke the story with her gleeful smile on their front pages today (March 17).

In 2016, the British-Iranian was detained, accused of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government and in April last year was sentenced to an additional year in prison as well as a year-long travel ban on new charges of "propaganda against the system." She has consistently denied these charges.

After months of negotiations between the UK and Iranian government, Nazanin and Anoosheh Ashoori - another British-Iranian detainee held on alleged spying charges - were released and flew back to the UK on Wednesday.

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Their release resulted from the UK settling a debt to Iran of almost £400m dating from the 1970s, when Iran ordered British tanks and armoured vehicles. After the Iranian revolution in 1979, the UK cancelled the order and Iran demanded its money back for undelivered vehicles.

Here is how the newspapers covered the story.

The Independent

With the photo of a smiley Zaghari-Ratcliffe on the plane which flew her back to the UK from Oman, The Independent's headline read: "Nazanin freed to start her 'new life' with her family."

The Times

For Thursday's front page, The Times also used the same photo, with the splash: "Free at last, Nazanin will 'learn to be happy again,'" quoting husband Richard on how his wife will be spending her first day back in the UK and added how the family were looking forward to the "beginning of a new life."

The Mirror took a domestic approach with their headline on what Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband Richard said is the first thing she wants when she lands in the UK "after six years in hell."

"Home... for a nice cuppa," the headline reads as Richard said she's looking forward to sitting down with a brew and her seven-year-old daughter Gabriella.

As well as using the airplane photograph, a small photo of Richard and Gabriella is also included.


The Guardian

"Zaghari-Ratcliffe released after six years in Iran jail," isThe Guardian's headline which also used Zaghari-Ratcliffe's airplane photo too.

Daily Mail

Going with the perspective of Zaghari-Ratcliffe's seven-year-old daughter Gabriella, Daily Mail's has gone with the headline: "Mummy's home at last!"

The British-Iranian's photo from the airplane also made the front page, along with a photo of Richard and Gabriella.

The Telegraph

In a similar approach, The Telegraph has used a quote used by Labour MP Tulip Siddiq in her speech in the House of Commons welcoming Zaghari-Ratcliffe back in the UK and told Gabriella, who was in the viewing gallery with her father: "Mummy really is coming home."

Daily Express

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's beaming smile covered the Daily Express front page, along with the matching headline: "Smile that says: I'm free."

Metro

"At last some good news," the Metro headline reads: "Nazanin jets home," and includes images of Zaghari-Ratcliffe travelling back to the UK.

Financial Times

With Zaghari-Ratcliffe's plane selfie as the main image on the Financial Times front page, there is a mention of what the UK paid Iran for their debt and to release Zaghari-Ratcliffe - "Finally free: Zaghari-Ratcliffe released from Iran after UK pays $530mn debt."

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