Husband: British woman freed temporarily from Iranian prison
LONDON (AP) — British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been allowed to leave an Iranian prison for three days, her husband said Thursday.
Richard Ratcliffe says his wife was released from Evin prison and has been reunited in Iran with her 4-year-old daughter Gabriella. He says Zaghari-Ratcliffe's lawyer is hopeful the period of release can be extended.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested during a holiday with her toddler daughter in April 2016. Iranian authorities accused her of plotting against the government. Her family denies this, saying she was in Iran to visit family.
A former employee of the BBC World Service Trust, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was working for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news agency.
Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was heavily criticized last year after he claimed Zaghari-Ratcliffe was "teaching people journalism" when she was arrested. Although Johnson later corrected himself, Iranian state television highlighted his comments as justification for imprisoning her.
There was no immediate response from Iran's judiciary or its state-run media to her release Thursday. However, officials rarely comment on such furloughs, especially when they involve people with Western ties.
As recently as May, Zaghari-Ratcliffe learned that she faced a new charge of "spreading propaganda against the regime," her husband said. It remains unclear if that threatened charge remains in play.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release also comes as London is considering repaying Tehran some 400 million British pounds from a pre-1979 arms deal.