Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe gets hope she could be free to return to UK

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe gets fresh hope that she could be free to return to UK within days as her temporary release from prison is extended for another week

  • Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has temporary jail release extended by another week
  • The British-Iranian mother was jailed for five years in 2016 on ‘spying’ charges
  • Iran authorities to decide by next week whether to commute rest of her sentence

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was given fresh hope by the Iranian authorities last night that she could be free within days to return to Britain.

The British-Iranian mother, pictured, had her temporary release from a Tehran prison extended by another week yesterday. 

Her lawyer later revealed that Iran will decide by next Wednesday whether to commute the rest of her five-year sentence.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, of West Hampstead, north-west London, was accused of spying and plotting to overthrow the Iranian government – which she denies – and jailed for five years

Mahmoud Behzadirad told an Iranian news agency that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s furlough has been extended until May 27 and judiciary officials have told her that they will rule by then whether to free her. 

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe said last night that the lawyer’s words were ‘positive’. 

He believes a decision could be made soon because the time around the Muslim festival of Eid this weekend is when prisoners annually are given clemency in Iran.

The British-Iranian mother had her temporary release from a Tehran prison extended by another week yesterday. She is pictured with her daughter Gabriella (now five)

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 41, was allowed out of Evin prison on March 17 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She has to wear a tag and stay at her parents’ house.

She was arrested at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport in April 2016 while taking her baby daughter Gabriella to see her parents. 

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, of West Hampstead, north-west London, was accused of spying and plotting to overthrow the Iranian government – which she denies – and jailed for five years. 

She was later afforded diplomatic protection by the UK Government, which argues that she is innocent and that her treatment by Iran failed to meet its obligations under international law.

Her MP, Tulip Siddiq, tweeted yesterday: ‘Nazanin’s furlough has been extended and she is NOT going back to prison today.’ 

The Hampstead and Kilburn Labour MP said the uncertainty over whether Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe will have to return to jail was causing her family ‘unimaginable stress’. 

Gabriella, now five, was allowed to fly back to London last year to live with her father and attend school. 

She talks to her mother daily via Skype.

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