Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe flies out of Iran on her way home to Britain


Detained British-Iranian mom Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has left Iran after practically six years in detention and is returning to Britain at the moment, amid claims London has settled a long-standing £400million debt to Tehran. 

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is flying to Muscat in Oman and can then journey on to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on a Titan Airways Boeing jet chartered privately by the UK Government – arriving at 10.30pm, reported The Times. The airplane has been ready in Oman since Monday after flying out as hopes constructed of a deal, in accordance to LBC radio.

The 44-year-old charity employee travelled to an airport in Tehran at the moment to come home to her household in North West London together with one other detained British-Iranian, Anousheh Ashouri, in accordance to their lawyer Hojjat Kermani. 

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Mr Ashouri have been then handed over to a British workforce at Tehran’s International Imam Khomeini Airport. A supply shut to their households later advised the Reuters information company that each had left Iran.

There had been a lot nervousness in Whitehall in regards to the scenario relating to Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe at the moment regardless of her being freed, with sources stressing that she wouldn’t be thought-about free till she was really on a airplane.   

Her household’s Labour MP Tulip Siddiq, who has lengthy campaigned for her launch, tweeted an image of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe on a airplane at the moment and mentioned: ‘It’s been six lengthy years – and I am unable to imagine I can lastly share this photograph. 

‘Nazanin is now within the air flying away from six years of hell in Iran. My coronary heart goes out to Gabriella [her daughter] and Richard [her husband], as her lengthy journey again home to them will get nearer by the minute. #NazaninIsFree.’

The Tasnim information company posted a video on-line of a girl it mentioned was Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe getting onto a airplane. 

A 3rd twin nationwide, Morad Tahbaz, was launched from jail on furlough. The UK agreed to pay £393.8million owed to Iran after it cancelled an order of Chieftain tanks following the overthrow of the Shah within the 1979 revolution.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted at the moment: ‘I can affirm Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori will return to the UK at the moment, and Morad Tahbaz has been launched from jail on furlough. They shall be reunited with their households later at the moment. We will proceed to work to safe Morad’s departure from Iran.’

Ms Truss mentioned the UK settled the excellent £400 million debt with Iran in a way which complies with UK and worldwide sanctions, with the funds which were launched being restricted to humanitarian functions solely.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson mentioned on Twitter at the moment: ‘I’m more than happy to affirm that the unfair detention of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anousheh Ashoori in Iran has ended at the moment, and they’ll now return to the UK.’ 

Mother-of-one Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe had her British passport returned over the weekend, and Mr Kermani mentioned she and Mr Ashoori have been each taken to Tehran Airport to go away Iran. Iranian judiciary officers additionally confirmed she and Mr Ashoori had been launched. 

On Mr Ashoori, a retired engineer from South East London who had been sentenced to ten years in jail in Iran on costs of spying for Israel, judiciary spokesman Zabihollah Khodayian mentioned: ‘Due to his age and bodily situation, the courtroom agreed to his conditional launch and he was… freed.’ 

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project supervisor with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested at Tehran Airport in April 2016 and later convicted by an Iranian courtroom of plotting to overthrow the clerical institution. 

Her household – together with husband Richard, who has led a marketing campaign to free her for years – and the muse deny the cost. She had been held underneath home arrest and unable to go away the nation after her launch from jail. 

MP Tulip Siddiq has tweeted this image of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on a airplane out of Tehran Airport in Iran this afternoon

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her daughter Gabriella. Her ordeal started in 2016 when she was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard at Imam Khomeini airport after a vacation go to to Iran the place she confirmed Gabriella to her mother and father

British mom Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and their daughter Gabriella

Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, with their daughter Gabriella, as he ended a starvation strike outdoors the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in London after nearly three weeks on November 13 final year

Detained British-Iranian mom Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (pictured in March 2020) has been freed after practically six years

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe posing for {a photograph} with her daughter Gabriella, with whom she shall be reunited

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who served most of her first sentence in Tehran’s Evin jail, was launched from jail in March 2020 through the pandemic after which stored underneath home arrest at her mother and father’ home in Tehran. 

In March 2021, she was launched from home arrest however she was summoned to courtroom once more on a brand new cost. 

Who are the three Britons launched in Iran at the moment? 

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a British-Iranian twin nationwide who was detained in Iran for practically six years, serving 5 years in jail.

The mother-of-one was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard at Imam Khomeini airport in April 2016 after a vacation go to to Iran the place she confirmed her daughter Gabriella to her mother and father.

She was later convicted of plotting the overthrow of Iran’s authorities, a cost that she, her supporters and rights teams deny. Aid employee Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been held underneath home arrest and unable to go away the nation since her launch from jail in March 2020.

Anoosheh Ashoori

Another British-Iranian twin nationwide, Anoosheh Ashoori, was detained in Tehran in August 2017.

The retired engineer from South East London had been sentenced to ten years in jail for alleged ties to the Israeli Mossad intelligence company, one thing lengthy denied by his supporters and household. 

In January, he started a starvation strike at Tehran’s Evin jail.

Morad Tahbaz

Morad Tahbaz, an Iranian-American who additionally holds British nationality, was arrested alongside different environmentalists in January 2018.

He was sentenced to 10 years in jail for ‘conspiring with America’.

The UK Government confirmed at the moment that Mr Tahbaz had been launch from jail on furlough.

In April 2021, she was then sentenced to a brand new time period in jail on costs of propaganda towards Iran’s ruling system, costs she denies. But that sentence has not but began and she or he was technically banned from leaving Iran. 

Today, Richard Ratcliffe’s sister mentioned it felt like they have been on the ‘home run’ following the information that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been taken to the airport. 

Rebecca Ratcliffe advised BBC News this morning: ‘It is sort of emotional day at the moment. It seems like we’re on the home run now however till she leaves that airport we will not fairly imagine it.

‘We discovered out about an hour in the past that Nazanin had been picked up and brought to the airport with her mother and father. She remains to be really underneath Iranian management within the airport. She remains to be not free however it positively feels she is about to be.’

Ms Siddiq, the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, mentioned Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe stays ‘underneath the authority of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’ however her household can ‘scent freedom’. 

She advised Sky News at the moment: ‘I’ve spoken to Richard Ratcliffe who mentioned that Nazanin is now on the airport in Tehran, however made the purpose that she may be very a lot nonetheless underneath the authority of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and that there was no details about a deal.

‘However, Richard is taking coronary heart from the truth that his spouse is on the airport in Iran, she does have her British passport again. 

‘And the way he described it to me is that he feels that they will scent freedom, they simply have not grasped it but. 

‘As you may think about, Richard may be very emotional, patiently ready as he has been for six years, however does not have affirmation that his spouse is on the flight but.’

Dominic Raab has mentioned he ‘can’t but affirm the reviews we’ve seen within the media’ about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe being on her way home however it ‘seems like optimistic indicators’.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, the Deputy Prime Minister mentioned: ‘Can I first of all say that I can’t but affirm the reviews we’ve seen within the media however of course it seems like optimistic indicators and of course, nobody desires greater than me – however I’m certain all members of the House – to see Nazanin but additionally all of the arbitrarily detained nationals reunited with their family members.

‘I can inform the honourable woman (Angela Rayner), having labored for 2 years with the concerted diplomatic effort led by the Prime Minister that we’ve finished completely all the things we will. 

‘She should not give succour to the despotic regime that detained our nationals in Iran or around the globe by suggesting it’s anybody else’s accountability aside from theirs.’ 

Mr Raab’s feedback got here as Labour deputy chief Angela Rayner requested: ‘I’m certain members throughout the House need to present their assist for his or her households and them. 

‘I do know the minister would agree that this devastating scenario must not ever be repeated, and different British nationals nonetheless trapped in Iran want to be introduced home. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives for a media interview on the Emirates Palace lodge in Abu Dhabi within the UAE at the moment

Richard Ratcliffe outdoors the Iranian Embassy in London in 2019 the place he was on starvation strike in solidarity along with his spouse

Richard Ratcliffe, husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, ties ribbons and messages of assist to a tree at Fortune Green in West Hampstead, North West London, in April 2017 to mark three hundred and sixty five days since she was imprisoned in Tehran

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her daughter Gabriella pose for a photograph in London in February 2016

Richard Ratcliffe and his daughter Gabriella holding indicators at Parliament Square in London in September 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson inspects the Guard of Honour as he arrives at Abu Dhabi airport for his go to to the UAE at the moment

‘So will the minister commit to a review of these circumstances to perceive what extra may have been finished by the British Government to safe releases, and whether or not the lazy feedback of the Prime Minister worsened the scenario?’

What is the timeline of occasions within the Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe case? 

Here is a timeline of the important thing occasions since Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested and sentenced to 5 years in jail in Iran.

– April 3 2016: The mother-of-one is detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard at Imam Khomeini airport after a vacation go to to Iran the place she confirmed her daughter Gabriella to her mother and father.

– July 12 2016: Richard Ratcliffe, her husband, delivers letters to Downing Street for outgoing prime minister David Cameron and his substitute Theresa May on his spouse’s a centesimal day in custody. He says it’s ‘astonishing’ no British minister has publicly criticised Tehran for arresting Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

– August 9 2016: New prime minister Mrs May ‘raised considerations’ about Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe throughout a telephone name with president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani.

– September 9 2016: Mr Ratcliffe says his spouse has been jailed for 5 years following a conviction on unspecified ‘nationwide security-related’ offences – a sentence he describes as ‘a punishment with no crime’.

– November 13 2016: Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe begins a starvation strike, which she ends after 5 days amid her household’s fears for her well being.

– January 2 2017: Mr Ratcliffe says Mrs May and her ministers may have ‘publicly stood up for Nazanin extra’ and will have known as for her launch. Mr Ratcliffe mentioned: ‘She raised these considerations in September. What occurred after September? Nothing a lot, actually.’

– April 24 2017: The household of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe say she has lost the ultimate stage of her enchantment towards the sentence.

– November 6 2017: It is feared Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe could face an additional interval of imprisonment as a result of of remarks made by then-foreign secretary Boris Johnson. Mr Johnson advised a parliamentary committee the earlier week that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was working in Tehran coaching journalists on the time of her arrest in 2016. Four days later, she was summoned earlier than an unscheduled courtroom listening to, the place the international secretary’s feedback have been cited as proof that she was engaged in ‘propaganda towards the regime’.

– November 7 2017: It is introduced that Mr Johnson advised his Iranian counterpart in a telephone name that his feedback to a Commons committee present ‘no justifiable foundation’ for additional authorized motion towards Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe. A Foreign Office spokesman says Mr Johnson accepted he ‘may have been clearer’.

– November 12 2017: Mr Ratcliffe says his spouse has seen a medical specialist after discovering lumps on her breasts and is ‘on the verge of a nervous breakdown’.

– November 15 2017: Mr Ratcliffe describes an hour-long meeting with Mr Johnson as ‘optimistic and constructive’.

– December 12 2017: Mr Johnson mentioned he and his Iranian counterpart spoke ‘frankly’ relating to the case of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, throughout talks in Tehran.

– Later in December 2017: Mr Ratcliffe mentioned he believes there’s ‘nonetheless an opportunity’ his spouse could also be launched in time for a dream Christmas collectively.

– December 28 2017: Mr Ratcliffe says he’s in limbo ready for information of his spouse’s launch however has not given up hope, and describes the scenario as ‘much more optimistic’ than final year.

– April 14 2018: Iranian ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad, says the Iranian authorities is doing its greatest to safe Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s launch, saying the judicial course of was ‘difficult’ however insisted ‘we try our greatest’.

– May 21 2018: Mr Ratcliffe says his spouse has been advised to anticipate one other conviction after showing in courtroom over a brand new ‘invented’ cost.

– August 3 2018: New international secretary Jeremy Hunt pledges to do all the things attainable to safe Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s launch, after talks with Mr Ratcliffe.

– August 21 2018: Mr Hunt says he’s contemplating a request by Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband to grant her diplomatic safety.

– August 23 2018: Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is given momentary launch from jail for 3 days and her husband says it seems like ‘home is one step nearer’. She returns to jail three days later.

– September 26 2018: Mrs May and Mr Hunt ramp up strain on Iran to launch the charity employee throughout talks in New York. The PM tells Iranian president Hassan Rouhani she has ‘severe considerations’ in regards to the jailing of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

– December 26, 2018: Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe turns 40 in jail. Three days later, she marks her 1,000th day of incarceration.

– January 14 2019: She begins a starvation strike in protest over her remedy in jail. The motion ends after three days.

– January 24 2019: Iranian international minister Javad Zarif raises hope of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s return to the UK by suggesting she may very well be freed in change for an Iranian lady held in Australia on a US extradition request. The minister subsequently backs away from his feedback.

– June 15 2019: Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe begins one other starvation strike, this time lasting 15 days. She is joined, in a present of solidarity, by her husband, who strikes outdoors the Iranian Embassy in London.

– June 24 2019: Mr Johnson, who got here underneath fireplace as international secretary for his feedback about Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case in 2017, turns into Prime Minister. Dominic Raab replaces Mr Hunt as Foreign Secretary.

– September 23 2019: Mr Ratcliffe says Mr Johnson could make amends for his failings in his incarcerated spouse’s case by telling Iran’s president ‘sufficient is sufficient’ and securing her launch.

– October 10 2019: The couple’s daughter, Gabriella, returns to the UK after greater than three years residing within the Middle East. The baby, who’s now seven years previous, had been residing with her grandparents in Tehran since her mom was arrested. Her father says: ‘It has been a protracted journey to have her home, with bumps proper till the tip.’

– December 18 2019: Mr Ratcliffe is joined by Gabriella singing Christmas carols outdoors Downing Street, and he known as on the Prime Minister to ‘please take accountability for Nazanin’s case and do what you may to get her and others home’.

– January 3 2020: A US air strike kills Iran’s high army chief, General Quassem Soleimani. Mr Ratcliffe says he’s frightened about his spouse, and tells ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘I sit right here partly frightened for what meaning for Nazanin, partly frightened what meaning for my in-laws, sat of their strange lounge in Tehran the place they’re all actually frightened.’

– January 10 2020: Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe spends one night time in a clinic after struggling ‘palpitations and panic assaults’ due to the tensions in Tehran, sparked by the demise of Gen Soleimani, Mr Ratcliffe says.

– January 23 2020: Richard Ratcliffe and their then five-year-old daughter Gabriella meet the Prime Minister in Downing Street, however Mr Ratcliffe says there was ‘no breakthrough’.

– February 29 2020: Mr Ratcliffe says he believes his spouse has contracted coronavirus in jail as he expresses concern on the jail’s ‘refusal to take a look at her’.

– March 3 2020: The couple’s Labour MP, Tulip Siddiq, says she believes Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe could also be briefly launched from jail due to the Covid-19 outbreak in Iran.

March 17 2020: Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is briefly free of jail. She says she is ‘joyful to be out, even with the ankle tag’ and might solely go inside 300 metres of her mother and father’ home.

– March 28 2020: Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s momentary jail launch is prolonged to April 18 and Mr Ratcliffe says his spouse’s file has been put ahead to the Iranian prosecutor common to be thought-about for clemency.

– April 21 2020: After a delay, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s jail launch is prolonged once more for round one month. Mr Ratcliffe reveals that the household are in a position to speak through video requires about 4 to 5 hours a day.

– May 20 2020: Mr Ratcliffe says his spouse’s launch has been prolonged indefinitely till there’s a determination on her clemency. He describes the information as ‘an actual step forwards… I do not suppose it is assured one way and I do not suppose she thinks it is assured one way, however let’s benefit from the second’.

– May 26 2020: Mr Ratcliffe says the household are on the ‘cusp of probably excellent news’ and thinks the household may discover out a few determination on her clemency the next day.

– August 24 2020: Lawyers for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe ask Defence Secretary Ben Wallace for a meeting and name on the British Government to arise to Iran over its ‘abusive remedy’.

– September 8 2020: Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe seems earlier than a department of Iran’s Revolutionary Court in Tehran, the place she faces a brand new cost.

– March 7 2021: On the day Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s sentence is due to come to an finish, her constituency MP Tulip Siddiq reveals she has had her digital tag eliminated however faces a brand new courtroom date. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says her remedy is ‘insupportable’ and calls on Iran to permit her to return to the UK.

– April 26 2021: Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is given a further one-year jail time period and can be banned from leaving Iran for a year. Her lawyer Hojjat Kermani says she acquired the second jail sentence on a cost of spreading ‘propaganda towards the system’ for collaborating in a protest in entrance of the Iranian Embassy in London in 2009. Mr Johnson says the choice to sentence Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe to one other year in jail is ‘merciless, inhumane and wholly unjustified’.

– May 2 2021: Iranian state TV claims Britain pays the £400 million debt relating to a cancelled order for 1,500 Chieftain tanks courting again to the Seventies, paving the way for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s launch. But that is denied by UK officers and Mr Ratcliffe says he has ‘heard nothing’.

– September 23 2021: Mr Ratcliffe marks 2,000 days since his spouse was detained, the day after newly-appointed Foreign Secretary Liz Truss makes use of a meeting with her Iranian counterpart to increase the case.

– October 16 2021: Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe loses her newest enchantment in Iran, with her sentence of one year plus a one-year journey ban ‘upheld with no courtroom listening to’, her MP Tulip Siddiq says.

– November 13 2021: Mr Ratcliffe ends a 21-day starvation strike outdoors the Foreign Office in central London, having been visited by supporters together with Strictly Come Dancing co-host Claudia Winkleman, author and presenter Victoria Coren Mitchell, and Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer.

– November 17 2021: Mr Johnson tells the Commons Liaison Committee it’s ‘price contemplating’ sending a airplane with a ‘crate of money’ to Iran to settle the £400 million debt.

– February 9 2022: Ms Siddiq asks Mr Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions to intervene after she learns a deal agreed with the Iranian authorities in the summertime of 2021 fell by way of. Mr Johnson responds that the ‘debt is troublesome to settle’ however ministers are working on it.

March 15 2022: Ms Siddiq says her constituent has had her British passport returned and a workforce of officers are in Tehran to negotiate.

– March 16 2022: Mr Johnson says talks on a deal are ‘going proper up to the wire’ earlier than hours later Ms Siddiq publicizes that her constituent is on the airport in Tehran and on her way home. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss later confirms Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and fellow dual-national detainee Anoosheh Ashoori have been launched and shall be reunited with their households later. Mr Johnson says he’s ‘more than happy’ the pair’s ‘unfair detention’ has ended. Ms Siddiq tweets an obvious selfie by Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who she says is ‘now within the air flying away from 6 years of hell in Iran’.  

Mr Ashouri was sentenced to ten years in jail in 2019 for spying for Israel’s Mossad and two years for ‘buying illegitimate wealth’, in accordance to Iran’s judiciary.

Iranian state tv in an on-air scrolling textual content introduced Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been ‘handed over to the British authorities,’ with out elaborating. 

Iran’s English-language broadcaster Press TV later described Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe as ‘leaving Tehran after serving jail time period.’

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s launch comes after the semi-official Fars information company advised she could be launched because the British authorities had paid Iran about £400million. 

Before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the late Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi paid the sum for Chieftain tanks that have been by no means delivered. 

The Foreign Office has not commented on the reviews of her launch, and Boris Johnson had mentioned negotiations about Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe have been ‘transferring ahead’ however ‘going proper up to the wire’. 

The Prime Minister had confirmed earlier throughout a go to to the Middle East {that a} negotiating workforce has been at work in Tehran to free Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who holds twin UK-Iranian citizenship. 

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in April 2016 as she ready to fly again to the UK, having taken her daughter Gabriella – then not even two years previous – to see relations.

She was accused of plotting to overthrow the Iranian authorities and sentenced to 5 years in jail, spending 4 years in Tehran’s Evin Prison and one underneath home arrest.

Both the British Government and Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe have all the time denied the allegations.

While particulars of the negotiations stay unclear, it’s attainable they’re linked to a £400million debt courting again to the Seventies owned to Iran by the UK.

The Government accepts it ought to pay the ‘respectable debt’ for an order of 1,500 Chieftain tanks that was not fulfilled after the shah was deposed and exchange by a revolutionary regime.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss advised Sky News at the moment that it’s a ‘precedence to pay the debt that we owe to Iran’. Tehran stays underneath strict sanctions, nevertheless, which have been linked to the failure to clear the debt. 

While the British and Iranian governments have mentioned there isn’t a connection between the debt and the case of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Iranian state media final year reported unidentified Iranian officers saying she could be freed as soon as the debt was paid.

Iranian officers didn’t remark when requested whether or not the quantity has been paid by Britain as reported by some Iranian shops. 

Ms Truss mentioned: ‘I’m delighted that Nazanin, Anoosheh and Morad have all been launched by the Iranians, and that Nazanin and Anoosheh will return again home to the UK.’

Speaking on the Foreign Office, she advised reporters: ‘We have been working exhausting over the past six months to be certain that we have been in a position to safe the discharge of these detainees – Nazanin, Anoosheh and Morad – and make it possible for they’re in a position to – that is occurring for Nazanin and Anoosheh – be certain they’re in a position to return again to the UK.

‘I simply need to say my sympathies are with the households for what they’ve suffered over this appalling time and I’m delighted to be welcoming them again to the UK later at the moment.’

She additionally mentioned that mentioned the discharge of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Mr Ashoori, together with environmental activist Mr Tahbaz on furlough, was the end result of ‘artistic British diplomacy’.

In a press release, she mentioned: ‘After years of detention by the Government of Iran, British nationals Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori will return from Iran at the moment. Morad Tahbaz has additionally been launched from jail on furlough. It is the end result of tenacious and inventive British diplomacy.

‘Nazanin has been held in Iran for nearly six years, and Anoosheh nearly 5. Morad has been in jail for 4. They shall be reunited with their households and family members.

‘Their launch is the end result of years of exhausting work and dedication by our sensible diplomats, and intensive efforts over the previous six months. I pay tribute to my predecessors and the Prime Minister, who’ve all labored exhausting to resolve this difficulty.

‘We have the deepest admiration for the resolve, braveness and willpower Nazanin, Anoosheh and Morad, and their households, have proven. They have confronted hardship that no household ought to ever expertise and it is a second of nice aid.’

Ms Truss confirmed the UK has settled the £400 million debt relating to an order of Chieftain tanks cancelled following the overthrow of the Shah of Iran within the revolution of 1979.

‘In parallel, we’ve additionally settled the IMS debt, as we mentioned we might.

‘I made resolving the continued detention of British nationals and the IMS debt fee my high priorities once I entered office in September 2021. In my first week, I spoke to the households of all of the detainees and met my Iranian counterpart in New York.

‘Last October and November I dispatched a workforce of Foreign Office negotiators to Tehran to safe the discharge of the detainees.

‘Last December I met Omani international minister Badr to safe Oman’s diplomatic help. We are grateful to our associates in Oman for his or her assist in securing the return of our nationals.

‘Last month I spoke twice to Iranian international minister Amir-Abdollahian in a closing push to carry negotiations to a profitable conclusion. Our officers then held a final spherical of negotiations to log out an settlement permitting Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori to return to the UK, and Morad Tahbaz to be launched on furlough to his home in Tehran.

‘The IMS debt has been settled in full compliance with UK and worldwide sanctions and all authorized obligations. These funds shall be ring-fenced solely for the acquisition of humanitarian items.’

Monique Villa, the previous chief govt of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the place Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was beforehand an worker, mentioned family and friends had been reluctant to affirm she was on the verge of launch in case there was a last-minute ‘trick’.

Ms Villa, who mentioned she speaks typically nearly with Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her husband Richard, advised the PA information company: ‘Until the final second, you by no means know.

‘It has occurred just a few instances that we actually thought she could be again home, after which it by no means occurred, so that you develop into very cautious.

‘The undeniable fact that she acquired the passport yesterday was completely essential.

‘And the chief negotiator of the Foreign Office was in Tehran negotiating, so we knew it was in all probability shut – however you by no means know, as a result of there can all the time be a trick or one thing.’

Antonio Zappulla, chief govt of the Thomson Reuters Foundation the place Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was beforehand employed, mentioned employees have been ‘overjoyed’ at information of her launch.

In a press release, he mentioned: ‘On behalf of all on the Thomson Reuters Foundation, we’re overjoyed that our a lot missed colleague and buddy Nazanin has lastly been freed.

‘No one can start to think about what Nazanin has endured all through the previous tortuous six years; denied her freedoms, separated from her husband and younger baby, battling vital sickness, thrown in solitary confinement.

‘An harmless sufferer of a global dispute, Nazanin has been one of many used as political pawns. Her remedy has been completely inhumane.

‘Throughout this extraordinarily darkish interval, we’ve supported the Free Nazanin marketing campaign each single step of the way, while remaining in shut contact with Richard, and of course, with Nazanin herself.’

Mr Zappulla added: ‘On a personal degree, I’ve nothing however admiration for Nazanin’s braveness, resilience and fortitude, regardless of her extended and painful struggling.

‘I’ve been grateful that we’ve been in a position to stay in shut contact. She is a very outstanding lady, with a very outstanding household.

‘In a time when the world is in turmoil and the information has been constantly bleak, Nazanin’s freedom is a ray of gentle and hope. Her reunion with her household can’t come quickly sufficient, and we can’t wait to have her again with us on the Thomson Reuters Foundation every time she is prepared.

‘Our ideas are with all those that stay unfairly incarcerated in Tehran, and with their households who proceed to so desperately hope for clemency.’

Also at the moment, a lawyer who has labored with the household of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe mentioned she won’t ‘make certain’ till the airplane carrying the mom takes off.

Penny Madden QC advised the PA information company: ‘Well I feel all of us really feel simply monumental aid.

‘We now know that she is on her way home, she’s on the airplane. We have not had affirmation that the airplane has really taken off, however it definitely will not be lengthy.

‘So monumental aid, it has been an absolute roller-coaster for the household over the previous couple of days, big pleasure, big optimism tempered with actual anxiousness that it felt so shut, however one may by no means make certain till really that airplane takes off.

‘The household felt simply big pleasure and and massive aid, it has been six very, very lengthy years.

‘I feel that is in all probability case closed in phrases of, not solely is Nazanin coming home, however we perceive that Anoosheh Ashoori can be coming home and that is additionally implausible information.’ 

Following the information that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is on her way home to the UK from Iran, Sir Keir Starmer mentioned: ‘For Nazanin, for Richard, and their daughter, that is an unbelievable second after a lot anguish.’ 

Speaking to reporters in Huddersfield, the Labour chief mentioned: ‘The braveness that they’ve proven over so a few years, I’ve met Richard many instances – I do know, I can really feel what this can imply for him, for Nazanin, for his or her daughter and their household.

‘My emotion, I feel, would be the emotion of households throughout the entire of the nation which is simply so happy for them.

‘There shall be questions of course, for different individuals to answer, however in the meanwhile however in the meanwhile, I’m so happy for them as a household that this unbelievable second seems to have come about and I feel the British public – all of us – will simply be wishing all of them the perfect after the unimaginable ordeal that they have been by way of.’

Sir Keir added: ‘Complex, troublesome negotiations, tons of questions to be answered about what occurred alongside the way, however at this second, all of my ideas are with the household on this emotional reuniting after so many lengthy, unimaginable what they have been by way of. 

‘I’m simply imagining how they will be feeling, having the ability to reunite as a household and I’m so delighted for them.’

BBC News presenter is overwhelmed with emotion throughout Zaghari-Ratcliffe announcement 

BBC News presenter Joanna Gosling apologised on-air after changing into overwhelmed with emotion whereas asserting the ‘transferring’ information that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is ‘heading to Tehran airport and on her way home’. 

BBC presenter Joanna Gosling turns into emotional on air at the moment

While asserting the breaking story on BBC News, presenter Gosling was visibly overcome with emotion.

The broadcast journalist, 51, mentioned: ‘Sorry, it is a transferring second as a result of these are individuals who have been detained for a while. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been held for practically six years in Iran and her husband has labored tirelessly to safe her launch.’

Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, tweeted: ‘I’m delighted to hear that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is on her way home to be reunited with her household. 

‘Nazanin and her family members have proven nice braveness, power and steadfastness by way of this unimaginably troublesome time. London appears ahead to welcoming her home.’

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been supported by celebrities together with TV presenter Victoria Coren Mitchell, who has been a vocal advocate for her launch.

In a press release on Twitter, the author, 49, mentioned: ‘All I need to say is that that is an inspirational household: the heroic Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin and Gabriella, and their wider household in England, Wales and Iran, have a power and bravado that’s past phrases. 

‘They are exhibiting the world the facility of hope, religion and energy. Also Tulip Siddiq has been an exceptional constituency MP. God bless all of them.’

Coren Mitchell and Claudia Winkleman visited the husband of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe on day 9 of starvation strike outdoors the Foreign Office in London which he began after his spouse lost her newest enchantment in Iran.

Rights teams accuse Iran of holding dual-nationals as bargaining chips for money or affect in negotiations with the West, one thing Tehran denies. 

Iran doesn’t recognise twin nationalities, so detainees like Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe can’t obtain consular help.

A United Nations panel has criticised what it describes as ‘an rising sample involving the arbitrary deprivation of liberty of twin nationals’ in Iran.

Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s chief govt, mentioned: ‘This is implausible information, however it hasn’t come a second too quickly. 

The Shah of Iran paid Britain £650million for 1,750 Chieftain tanks (file photograph above) within the Seventies however solely 185 had been delivered when he was toppled in 1979 and the brand new authorities cancelled the order

Fellow British-Iranian prisoner Anoosheh Ashoori (pictured along with his spouse Sherry Izadi) has additionally now been launched

Following the information that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is on her way home to the UK, Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer advised reporters in Huddersfield at the moment: ‘For Nazanin, for Richard, and their daughter, that is an unbelievable second after a lot anguish.

‘Nazanin and Anoosheh ought to by no means have been detained within the first place – they have been each jailed on trumped-up nationwide safety costs, a well-recognized tactic in Iran. 

Victoria Coren Mitchell’s assist for Nazanin

British-Iranian mom Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been supported by celebrities together with TV presenter Victoria Coren Mitchell, who has been a vocal advocate for her launch.

Claudia Winkleman and Victoria Coren Mitchell as they meet and speak to Richard Ratcliffe outdoors the Foreign Office in London throughout his starvation strike on November 8, 2021

In a press release on Twitter, the author, 49, mentioned: ‘All I need to say is that that is an inspirational household: the heroic Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin and Gabriella, and their wider household in England, Wales and Iran, have a power and bravado that’s past phrases. 

‘They are exhibiting the world the facility of hope, religion and energy. Also Tulip Siddiq has been an exceptional constituency MP. God bless all of them.’

Coren Mitchell and Claudia Winkleman visited the husband of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe on day 9 of starvation strike outdoors the Foreign Office in London which he began after his spouse lost her newest enchantment in Iran.

‘Nazanin and Anoosheh have unquestionably been used as political pawns by the Iranian authorities – and the Iranian authorities have acted with calculated cruelty, looking for to wring the utmost diplomatic worth out of their captivity.

‘The Government wants to comply with up on Nazanin and Anoosheh’s launch by instantly renewing its requires the discharge of the UK nationals Mehran Raoof and Morad Tahbaz, each of whom are nonetheless going by way of an ordeal all too comparable to Nazanin and Anoosheh’s. 

‘It’s been clear for years that the Iranian authorities are focusing on international nationals with spurious nationwide security-related costs to exert diplomatic strain, and it is extra vital than ever that Britain works multilaterally to fight this insidious follow.’

Morad Tahbaz, an Iranian-American who additionally holds British nationality, was arrested alongside different environmentalists in January 2018 and sentenced to 10 years in jail for ‘conspiring with America’.

Dual nationals from Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden and the United States have additionally been arrested in comparable circumstances.

Redress, an anti-torture group which has campaigned for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe to be freed, mentioned it congratulated the UK Government on ‘lastly negotiating her launch’.

Director Rupert Skilbeck mentioned: ‘We are extremely relieved that Nazanin will lastly be reunited with her household within the UK after a horrific six-year ordeal. Nazanin has endured unimaginable struggling.

‘Richard (Ratcliffe) fought day and night time for his spouse to be allowed to return to the UK and Redress is honoured to have supported them in securing Nazanin’s freedom. Nazanin’s detention in Iran was all the time unlawful and her remedy by Iran amounted to torture.

‘In celebrating her launch, we should not overlook the deep and persevering with injustice perpetrated by Iran. Iran’s systematic follow of holding international nationals hostage for diplomatic leverage can’t be allowed to proceed.’

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Charity employee with ‘fairly eager sense of justice’ held on spurious costs by Iran

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe in 2020 after being launched from jail

After six years Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is lastly returning home to her husband and baby.

The charity employee, of Hampstead, north-west London, had been detained in Iran since her arrest in 2016 on costs, which she denies, of plotting to overthrow the Tehran authorities, having been arrested throughout a vacation go to to present her child daughter Gabriella to her mother and father.

The twin nationwide has all the time insisted she was not working for Thomson Reuters Foundation in Iran on the time of her arrest, however was visiting the nation so Gabriella may meet her grandparents.

According to her household, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was advised by Iranian authorities that she was being detained as a result of of the UK’s failure to pay an impressive £400 million debt to Iran.

During her detention, household and associates within the UK have lengthy fought for her freedom.

In March 2020, she was free of jail due to the coronavirus pandemic and stored underneath home arrest.

Hopes of her being granted clemency have been later dashed and in April final year she was given a further one-year jail time period and banned from leaving Iran for a year.

Her lawyer Hojjat Kermani mentioned Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe acquired the second jail sentence on a cost of spreading ‘propaganda towards the system’ for collaborating in a protest in entrance of the Iranian embassy in London in 2009.

She lost an enchantment towards that sentence in October.

The mom of one has scarcely seen her daughter all through her ordeal.

After three years with her grandparents, Gabriella, then aged 5, was allowed to return to her father within the UK in October 2019, nevertheless, throughout Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s furlough from jail, the household would converse on video chat for 4 or 5 hours a day.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard Ratcliffe

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe beforehand advised the PA information company that earlier than his spouse’s detention, she was ‘actually, actually proud’ of Iran.

‘The Iran she knew and she or he cherished just isn’t the Iran that has handled her this way. That is one of the toughest issues,’ he mentioned.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was born and raised in Tehran and studied English literature on the capital’s college, earlier than changing into an English trainer.

Following a devastating earthquake in Iran in 2003, she went to work as a translator within the aid effort for the Japanese International Co-operation Agency.

She then went on to work for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, earlier than transferring to the World Health Organisation as a communications officer.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe got here to the UK in 2007 after securing a scholarship at London Metropolitan University to examine for a masters in communication administration.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her daughter Gabriella Zaghari-Ratcliffe

It was a month after her arrival within the UK that she met her future husband by way of mutual associates.

Describing their first date, Mr Ratcliffe mentioned they ‘clicked’ and he felt like he had ‘come home’.

The couple acquired married in August 2009 in Winchester and their daughter Gabriella was born in June 2014, one thing Mr Ratcliffe mentioned modified each their outlooks on life.

‘It was essential for Nazanin to preserve going again to Iran to present her daughter to her mother and father… earlier than she would all the time go as soon as a year, however she tried to go twice after,’ he mentioned.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe started working at Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2011 as a project co-ordinator earlier than taking on the function of a project supervisor.

Mr Ratcliffe described his spouse as very house-proud, meticulous and tidy, and mentioned she has a ‘fairly eager sense of justice’, and is ‘outraged’ by what has occurred to her and her daughter.