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British Prime Minister Demands 'Immediate Release' Of Aid Worker In Iran


Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband, Richard Ratcliffe, and her daughter pose with a picture of her in London.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has demanded the "immediate release" of aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual nationals detained in Iran.

Johnson raised the case of Zaghari-Ratcliffe during a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rohani, and said her "continued confinement remains completely unacceptable" and that she must be allowed to return to her family in Britain, a spokesman said on March 10.

The charity worker, 42, had her ankle tag removed on March 7 at the end of her five-year sentence, but she faces a new court case against her, scheduled for March 14.

She had been under house arrest in Tehran since being moved from jail a year ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained at Tehran airport after a family visit in 2016 and subsequently sentenced for plotting to overthrow Iran's government -- an accusation she denies.

In November, she was notified in court of a fresh indictment of "spreading propaganda against the regime."

Prior to her arrest, she lived in London with her husband and daughter, who is now 6 years old.

Iran has arrested dozens of foreign and dual nationals in recent years on espionage charges that they and their governments say are groundless.

Critics say Iran uses such arbitrary detentions as part of hostage diplomacy to extract concessions from Western countries, which Tehran denies.

With reporting by the BBC and AFP
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