Britain ‘inspecting’ find out how to pay £400m debt to Iran as Nazanin’s freedom nearly secured

Richard Ratcliffe protests outdoors the Iranian embassy with the couple’s daughter Gabriella on Monday – Shutterstock

Britain is looking for methods to repay the £400 million debt that Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe’s husband believes is linked to her detention in Iran, a senior former diplomat has confirmed.

Baron McDonald of Salford, who was everlasting undersecretary of the International Commonwealth and Improvement Workplace till September final yr, mentioned that Britain was placing “an enormous quantity of creativeness and energy” into methods to pay Iran the cash that may not be topic to US sanctions.

Talking on the BBC’s Right now programme, he mentioned: “We acknowledge it’s Iranian cash and it does have to return to Tehran…A key complication is that Iran is topic to very complete sanctions, so how this cash is repaid is a part of the story.”

Lord McDonald denied any connection between settling the debt case and Nazanin’s launch, though he acknowledged Iran had linked the 2 in negotiations.

The method was “in the long run game, the Iranian system is behaving in a typical manner. Nazanin has accomplished her sentence. However the remaining strikes have nonetheless to happen,” he mentioned.

Nazanin poses for a photo after being released on Sunday - Reuters

Nazanin poses for a photograph after being launched on Sunday – Reuters

Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe was jailed in Iran on secret espionage fees in 2015. She was launched from home arrest on completion of her sentence on Sunday, however has been ordered to attend one other courtroom listening to subsequent week.

Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin’s husband, believes she and different twin nationwide prisoners are being held hostage till the UK pays the debt and has expressed frustration on the refusal of British diplomats to confess to it.

Iran has for many years been looking for reimbursement from Britain for a big Nineteen Seventies arms buy that was solely partially delivered.

In 2008 a world arbitration courtroom dominated that the UK owed the cash, however the two governments have been locked in an prolonged authorized wrangle over the precise sum owed and whether or not or not the UK ought to pay curiosity on it. The subsequent courtroom listening to within the dispute is due in April.

The remarks got here as a high Iranian official appeared guilty Nazanin’s continued detention on former International Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s rejection of a proposed prisoner swap.

At a press briefing on Monday, Iranian International Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh mentioned: “Jeremy Hunt’s hypocritical remarks don’t cowl up his harmful actions from a number of years in the past… and he is aware of that if his harmful actions had not taken place, [Nazanin] would have been freed a number of years in the past.”

The official gave no rationalization as to what Mr Hunt had completed, however the former overseas secretary in 2019 publicly rejected Iranian strategies {that a} prisoner swap might safe Nazanin’s launch, which angered Tehran on the time.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s overseas minister, had recommended a swap between Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Negar Ghodskani, an Iranian lady held in Australia on a US extradition warrant.

However Mr Hunt on the time mentioned there was a “big distinction” between the 2 ladies. On Sunday he described Iran’s therapy of Nazanin as “”completely and completely inhumane“.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.