Jailed British-Iranian faces new charge

A sign saying Free Nazanin

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 39, a British-Iranian dual-national, was arrested at a Tehran airport on 3 April 2016 prior to boarding a plane back to the United Kingdom after a regular family visit to the country with her infant daughter Gabriella.

The charge is for "spreading propaganda against the regime", which she denies, he said.

This is the first time she has been able to speak to the Embassy in two years.

It said: "She updated him on her case and situation, and requested that he try to visit".

"Nazanin asked the ambassador to issue a formal letter of protest, a démarche, at her treatment".

She has asked for temporary release from prison next month to celebrate her daughter's fourth birthday.

A May 21 statement from Richard Ratcliffe said his wife learned of the new allegation of "spreading propaganda against the regime" at a hearing before a judge of Tehran's hard-line Revolutionary Court two days earlier.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said it would not provide a running commentary on "every twist and turn" in the case.

During the hearing on Saturday, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is quoted as saying: "I have never been involved in overthrowing the regime".

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Johnson has since apologised for mistakenly saying she was training journalists in Iran, while in fact, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was on holiday.

During her conversation with Macaire, she pleaded that he and the UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visit her in prison.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving a five-year jail sentence in Iran after being convicted of spying.

She said in a statement released through the campaign to free her: 'Sometimes when I come back from the visit with Gabriella, after saying goodbye to her, I feel like I can not live without her, I want to go back and hold her.

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. Iranian policy is not making it safe for Iranian citizens'.

Speculation has grown in recent months that the detention of the Britons may be tied to a longstanding legal dispute over Iran's 1976 purchase of British tanks that were never delivered.

She said the prisoners should be freed "on humanitarian grounds".

A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said that the government was committed "to doing everything possible to help secure Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release and alleviate her suffering".

The Thomson Reuters Foundation said the renewed charges against her were "a mockery that prolongs the ordeal she has been subjected to since day one".

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