Britain ‘examines’ how one can repay £ 400million debt to Iran as Nazanin’s freedom nearly assured

Richard Ratcliffe protested outdoors Iranian embassy with couple’s daughter Gabriella on Monday – Shutterstock

Britain is on the lookout for methods to repay the £ 400million debt that Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe’s husband says is linked to his detention in Iran, a senior former diplomat has confirmed.

Baron McDonald of Salford, who was Everlasting Undersecretary of the International Commonwealth and Growth Workplace till September final 12 months, mentioned Britain was placing “a substantial amount of creativeness and energy” into paying the worth. ‘Iran cash that might not be topic to US sanctions. .

Talking on the BBC’s In the present day program, he mentioned: “We acknowledge that that is Iranian cash and that he should return to Tehran … A key complication is that Iran is topic to very complete penalties, so how that cash is paid again is a part of it. Of the historical past.”

Lord McDonald has denied any connection between the settlement of the debt affair and the discharge of Nazanin, though he admitted that Iran had linked the 2 within the negotiations.

The method was “on the finish of the sport the Iranian system behaves in a typical method. Nazanin has completed his sentence. However the final strikes have but to happen, ”he mentioned.

Nazanin poses for photo after being released on Sunday - ReutersNazanin poses for photo after being released on Sunday - Reuters

Nazanin poses for picture after being launched on Sunday – Reuters

Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe was jailed in Iran for secret espionage in 2015. She was launched from home arrest after serving her sentence on Sunday, however was sentenced to a different listening to subsequent week.

Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin’s husband, believes she and different dual-nationality prisoners are being held hostage till the UK pays the debt and has expressed frustration on the refusal of British diplomats to the admit.

Iran has for many years demanded reimbursement from Britain for a significant arms buy within the Seventies that was solely partially delivered.

In 2008, a world arbitration tribunal dominated that the UK owed the cash, however the two governments had been locked in a protracted authorized dispute over the precise quantity owed and whether or not or not the UK ought to pay curiosity. . The subsequent courtroom listening to within the dispute is scheduled for April.

The remarks got here as a senior Iranian official appeared accountable the continued detention of Nazanin on former International Minister Jeremy Hunt’s rejection of a prisoner change plan.

Talking at a press briefing on Monday, Iranian International Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh mentioned: “Jeremy Hunt’s hypocritical remarks don’t cowl his harmful actions of some years in the past … and he is aware of that if his harmful actions had not taken place, [Nazanin] was reportedly launched a couple of years in the past.

The official gave no clarification for what Mr Hunt did, however the former overseas minister in 2019 publicly rejected Iranian ideas {that a} prisoner swap might safe Nazanin’s launch, which prompted the wrath of Tehran on the time.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s International Minister, had steered an change between Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Negar Ghodskani, an Iranian detained in Australia on a US extradition warrant.

However Mr Hunt mentioned on the time that there was a “big distinction” between the 2 girls. On Sunday, he described Iran’s therapy of Nazanin as “” completely and completely inhuman “.

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