Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe asks 'how many foreign secretaries' needed to free citizens in scathing statement

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe asks 'how many foreign secretaries' needed to free citizens in scathing statement
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's statement in full as she meets press for the first ...
Independent TV

Detained British-Iranian citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was released from prison in Iran after six years last week, has given her first news conference since returning to the UK – and she didn’t hold back in her criticism of the UK Government.

The charity worker was detained by Iran in 2016 for “spying” on the country – charges which she has always denied – with her husband Richard Ratcliffe going on several hunger strikes to pressure ministers into working harder to bring her home.

That day happened on Thursday, with Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, saying that Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release and that of Morad Tahbaz were the result of “years of hard work and dedication by our brilliant diplomats and intensive efforts over the past six months”.

It was also likely down to the fact that the UK Government paid off a debt which many believed to have been partly responsible for the dual citizen’s lengthy detention.

However, speaking in Westminster alongside Richard and her MP, Labour’s Tulip Siddiq, Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe had some strong words to describe the UK Government’s handling of her injustice.

She told reporters: “I have seen five foreign secretaries change over the course of six years, that is unprecedented, given the politics of the UK.

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“I was told many, many times, that, ‘oh, we’re going to get her home’. That never happened.

“So there was a time that I felt like, ‘you know what, I’m not going to trust you, because I’ve been told many, many times that I’m going to be taken home, but that never happened’.

“I mean, how many foreign secretaries does it take for someone to come home, five? It should have been one of them eventually … What happened now should have happened six years ago.”


And many Twitter users went on to agree with her criticisms:

Since Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was imprisoned in Iran in 2016, the five foreign secretaries who all pledged to reunite her with her family were Philip Hammond, Boris Johnson (you know, the current prime minister), Jeremy Hunt, Dominic Raab and Liz Truss.

No, we can’t quite believe that happened, either.

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