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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to face new charges over 'spreading propaganda'

22 May 2018

The British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, jailed in Tehran two years ago, has been told she is likely to be convicted of "spreading propaganda" against the regime, piling pressure on Boris Johnson, who last year accidently claimed she had been in the country training journalists.

Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said "the judge told Nazanin to expect that there will likely be another conviction and sentence against her".

Following her court appearance at the weekend, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was able to telephone the British ambassador to Iran for the first time in more than two years, her campaign said.

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

The new charge came despite frantic diplomatic efforts to secure her release.

Speaking on a visit to Buenos Aires, Mr Johnson said:' I can tell you absolutely sincerely that there is not a day that goes by in which we are not working in the Foreign Office on every single one of the incredibly sad consular cases that we have - and particularly the hard cases we have in Iran. "I do not want to overthrow the regime".

She denies the charges, saying that she had visited Iran to introduce her parents to their granddaughter, Gabriella.

The letter was being sent to the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and to his United Kingdom counterpart, Boris Johnson.

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

"I have been a good prisoner for the sake of my baby, and I would ask the judge to close this new case and give me parole - so that I can go home and have another baby and have a normal life". "I didn't have a panic attack this time, but still it is so hard". It is hard to say goodbye to her.

'After the news of a new court case again, yesterday was one of those days.

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. Under Iranian law, dual citizens are considered Iranian citizens only, and so fully subject to Iranian courts.

"We are grateful to the prison authorities for finally allowing this contact", Mr. Ratcliffe said.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson declined to discuss the details of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case, but said her husband should feel assured that the Foreign Office was working constantly to resolve it.

She called for further progress to be made so individuals could be released on humanitarian grounds'.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to face new charges over 'spreading propaganda'