Thursday, January 20, 2022

Iran’s Zarif, UK’s Johnson Discuss Case of Zaghari-Ratcliffe

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Iranian and British top diplomats have discussed the case of an Iranian-British national who is behind bars in Iran for espionage.

In a Tuesday phone conversation, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson talked about the case of  Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an Iranian-British woman jailed in Iran.

Zarif stressed during the phone conversation that “dual nationality” is not accepted under the Iranian law, said Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi.

Zarif’s remarks come as Zaghari-Ratcliffe is referred to by Western media as a “British-Iranian national.”

Zarif also highlighted that the three branches of government in Iran work independently.

“Making decisions on this case falls within the remit of the Iranian Judiciary, and I, as a humanitarian gesture, will inform Iranian judicial authorities of your comments,” said the top Iranian diplomat.

The phone call came after Johnson retracted his comments Tuesday about Zaghari-Ratcliffe amid growing criticism from her husband and fellow lawmakers.

Johnson had told a British Parliament committee last week that she was simply teaching journalism in Iran.

His critics say Johnson’s remarks led to Zaghari-Ratcliffe being summoned to an unscheduled court hearing in Iran over the weekend, at which Johnson’s remarks, as the critics say, were cited as proof that she had engaged in “propaganda” against the Islamic Republic.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving a five-year prison term in Iran after being convicted of spying.

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