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NO HOPE: Richard Ratcliffe said UK-Iran meeting to help rescue his detained wife left him with no hope

NO HOPE: Richard Ratcliffe said UK-Iran meeting to help rescue his detained wife left him with no hope

Image by Stefan Rousseau/ PA Wire


Richard Ratcliffe came away with “no hope” following a meeting between the UK and Iran about his detained wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Richard Ratcliffe described a meeting with foreign minister James Cleverly as “depressing”.

The husband of detained British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe said he will continue his hunger strike outside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office “this evening” (Thursday).

He is on day 19 of the strike.

After his meeting inside the FCDO, which lasted around half an hour, he told reporters: “If I’m honest, quite a depressing meeting.

“In terms of what we got told, well, not much.”

He said Mr Cleverly wanted to emphasise the meeting with the Iranian delegation had been “cordial”.

Mr Ratcliffe added: “He’d raised Nazanin’s case, the case of the others (detainees). He said that was a good step. Couldn’t give a timeline on when things were going to move forwards.”

Richard Ratcliffe said he was “pretty irritable” in the meeting.

He told reporters: “I said to him (Mr Cleverly) at the end, ‘I come away with no hope. I felt that in your strategy it’s all carrots to Iran. There’s no stick’.

“I can’t see what’s stopping them from continuing to play games with Nazanin.

“I think by being here, Nazanin is probably safe for a few weeks. But what’s to stop them threatening to put her in prison again?”

Richard Ratcliffe said the Government “clammed up” and would not talk about the debt to Iran.

According to Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s family, she was told by Iranian authorities that she was being detained because of the UK’s failure to pay an outstanding £400 million debt.

Mr Ratcliffe said: “We asked about the debt and they wouldn’t talk about it, I mean really clammed up.

“He (Mr Cleverly) said ‘our position is well known’, and we said ‘well, look, frankly it’s not well known, you haven’t told us. I don’t know if you’ve told anyone else but we’ve never heard it.”

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