Britain's Johnson to visit Iran, seek prisoner's release

Lester Mason
December 8, 2017

Boris Johnson will urge Iran to free British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe from jail when he visits Tehran. She denies the claim. Johnson's two-day trip - his first to Iran - will include talks with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and is aimed at improving ties between Britain and Iran.

The foreign secretary is expected to travel to Iran in the next few days.

"This visit comes at a crucial time for the Gulf region and provides an opportunity to discuss a peaceful solution to the conflict in Yemen, the future of the Iran nuclear deal and the current volatility in the Middle East", a Foreign Office spokesman said.

The visit would mark Mr Johnson's first to Iran since taking over as Foreign Secretary a year ago.

However, a swift resolution to the saga is unlikely, namely because Iran has refused to recognise Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe's British citizenship and is treating her as an Iranian.

She is due to face fresh charges in court of "spreading propaganda" on Sunday.

The mother had been visiting Iran with her daughter Gabriella when she was arrested previous year.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's fate become a major political issue in Britain after Johnson made remarks on November 1 that appeared to cast doubt on statements from her employer about what she had been doing in Iran.

"Him being there can only make things better".

"We fervently hope the Foreign Secretary's visit can secure her speedy release, but if it doesn't we'll go on campaigning".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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