British Woman Serving 5-Year Sentence in Iran Faces New Charges

British Woman Serving 5-Year Sentence in Iran Faces New Charges

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman jailed in Tehran for two years, has appeared in court to face a new charge, her husband said on Monday.

It added that the 39-year-old asked Mr Macaire to try and visit her and requested him "to issue a formal diplomatic note protesting against the new charges" and the "invented case against her".

Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said "the judge told Nazanin to expect that there will likely be another conviction and sentence against her".

It marked the first time she had been allowed such direct contact with the embassy in more than two years.

She also asked that the United Kingdom government file a formal diplomatic note protesting against the new charge against her, the Free Nazanin Campaign statement said.

The Independent says the charity worker has never taught journalists in her life and is not even a trained journalist herself, but this has not stopped Iranian state media from portraying Johnson's words as an accidental confession that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was a spy.

She was brought before Judge Abolghassem Salavati of Tehran's hard-line Revolutionary Court on Saturday where she learned that her current lawyer would not be allowed to represent her. I don't want to go there again.

Mr Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, is serving a five-year prison sentence over allegations, which she denies, of plotting to overthrow the Tehran government.

He said Zaghari-Ratcliffe also told the judge she believed her case was related to a sum of money the United Kingdom government owes to Tehran in connection with a four-decade legal dispute over hundreds of Chieftain tanks Iran bought from the United Kingdom in 1976.

The British government admits it owes Iran up to £300m, but the countries have wrangled over the precise sum and the interest Tehran wants over the delayed payment.

She was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport when she and her then 22-month-old daughter, Gabriella, were about to return to the United Kingdom after a family visit.

The letter was being sent to the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and to his United Kingdom counterpart, Boris Johnson.

During the hearing she also requested a temporary release, known as a furlough, for Gabriella's birthday next month.

Boris Johnson today insisted "not a day goes by" when the government was not working to get Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe out of jail in Iran.

Last week, Prime Minister Theresa May made a fresh appeal for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual United Kingdom nationals in a phone call with counterpart Hassan Rouhani.