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Husband Of British-Iranian Woman Jailed In Iran Ends Hunger Strike

Richard Ratcliffe stands next to his daughter Gabrielle during his hunger strike outside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in London on October 25.

The husband of a British-Iranian women who has been jailed in Iran has ended a three-week hunger strike he staged in London to protest British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's handling of the case.

Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of Naznin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, spent 21 days camping without food outside the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office in London after his wife lost her latest appeal in Iran.

He began his demonstration on October 24, saying his family was "caught in a dispute between two states."

"We probably hoped we'd get a breakthrough doing this. We haven't yet," Ratcliffe told journalists in London. "I didn't want to go out in an ambulance. I want to walk out with my head held high."

Ratcliffe also criticized Johnson for refusing to meet with him during the protest, saying that Johnson's absence was "telling."

"He hasn't dealt adequately with Nazanin's case for years," Ratcliffe said. "He hasn't honored his promises. And we live with those consequences."

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe poses for a photo after she was released from house arrest in Tehran in March.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe poses for a photo after she was released from house arrest in Tehran in March.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual national, has been in custody in Iran since 2016 after being accused of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government.

She was taking the couple's 7-year-old daughter Gabriella to see her family when she was arrested and sentenced to five years in jail, spending four years in Evin prison and one under house arrest.

Her family says Zaghari-Ratcliffe was told by the Iranian authorities that she was being detained because of Britain's failure to pay an outstanding $458 million debt to Iran.

Iranian officials have said that Britain told Tehran it could not pay the debt because of sanctions against Iran.

Ratcliffe had gone on 15-day hunger strike in 2019 in front of the Iranian Embassy in London -- a protest that he says resulted in getting his daughter back to Britain.

With reporting by Reuters, dpa, and The Guardian
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