Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband welcomes Boris Johnson’s talks in Tehran
Richard Ratcliffe said he is hopeful that the debrief from the Foreign Secretary will be positive.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s frank discussions with his Iranian counterpart over the case of imprisoned Briton Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe can only be good, her husband has said.
Mr Johnson has been seeking the release of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe as he held top-level talks in Tehran with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
A Foreign Office spokesman said that during a two-hour meeting the pair discussed a full range of issues and spoke frankly, but that the meeting had been “constructive”.
Richard Ratcliffe told the Press Association that he is expecting to have a full briefing from Mr Johnson and the Foreign Office once he returns to the UK.
The father-of-one said constructive is “certainly good and frank is not bad”. He added: “An honest discussion about Nazanin’s case can only be good for us.
“I am glad he is there and is meeting as many people as he can … he undertook to raise her case, to call for her humanitarian release, let’s hope that has positive consequences.
“Obviously for us the weekend is big because of his visit, but it is also big because she has got the scheduled court case tomorrow.”
Mr Ratcliffe said he will not know for sure whether his wife’s court case has gone ahead as planned until he has spoken to her over the phone on Sunday.
“I am obviously watching closely with hope, fingers crossed and excitement – I couldn’t sleep at all last night,” Mr Ratcliffe said of the situation.
“(I am) just trying to read the runes, look to see what is happening and what it means. And of course it is easy to misinterpret things.”
He said he is hopeful that the debrief from the Foreign Secretary about how the meetings went will be positive.
“And we are sitting here hopeful that it could be over soon,” Mr Ratcliffe added. “If he comes back and says ‘this could be done in six months time’, that is not going to be a great feeling. We are hoping for Christmas still.
Had a positive meeting with Richard Ratcliffe about UK efforts to help his wife Nazanin. We will continue to leave no stone unturned in our work on all our Iranian consular cases https://t.co/CIPXx4mq81 pic.twitter.com/VSI2PEmsdQ— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 15, 2017
“We will be looking to see how the conservation has gone as to how feasible and realistic that is. But I wanted him to get to Iran and try and raise her case, and to do it before her court case and he has done that.
“Hopefully he will be persuasive and charming, and build a good relationship with the Iranian foreign minister … it is definitely good that he is there, but let’s wait and see what happens.”
Mr Johnson has been seeking the release of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe who is serving a five-year sentence over allegations, which she denies, of plotting to overthrow the Tehran government.
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in 2016 during a holiday visit to show her baby daughter Gabriella to her parents.