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Iran Sentences Iranian-British Woman To Five Years On Security Charges

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Iran has sentenced an Iranian-British woman accused of trying to overthrow the Islamic republic's government to five years in prison.

Mizan Online, a website affiliated with Iran's judiciary, quoted a prosecutor on January 22 as saying that the sentence against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been finalized.

Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, confirmed that an appeals court upheld her sentence for the charge of "acting against national security." Her family denies she has violated any laws.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the news agency's charity organization, was detained in April while attempting to fly back to England with her young daughter, and had her passport seized. She was in Iran to visit relatives in the southeastern city of Kerman.

Richard Ratcliffe said among the accusations against his wife is that she had previously worked as head of recruitment for BBC Persian.

Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Monique Villa said Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 37, never worked for BBC Persian.

Iranian authorities have arrested a number of dual citizens on security-related charges since the Islamic republic reached a nuclear accord with world powers in 2015.

Iran does not recognize dual nationality, meaning those detained cannot receive consular assistance.

British Prime Minister Theresa May mentioned Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case in a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rohani in August.

Based on reporting by AP, dpa, and the Fars news agency