Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe faces new charge


The husband of an Iranian-British woman detained in Tehran says she now faces a new charge of "spreading propaganda against the regime".

Her husband said the 39-year-old, who denied the new allegation of spreading propaganda, was told to expect a conviction by the judge.

It is believed that the evidence to be used for this new charge is the same as that which saw her convicted in her previous trial: "While she was not allowed to read it in detail, from that quick view she understood she was being prosecuted again with the same material that had been exaggerated and used to justify her first trial", Mr Ratcliffe said.

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

Why Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is being held in an Iranian jail

The courts' decision will put further pressure on Boris Johnson, after the foreign secretary was forced to apologise last November for incorrectly telling a Commons committee hearing Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been teaching journalism in Iran "something her family and employer say is incorrect", reports the BBC.

"Therefore we will not be providing a running commentary on every twist and turn".

Asked if Mr Ratcliffe could feel reassured by the attention the Foreign Office was giving to his wife's case, Mr Johnson replied: 'He really can, and to be fair I don't think he would deny that'.

'But those cases do not benefit from public discussion'.

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Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe is one of dozens of dual citizens being held in Iran, several of them from Britain. She hasn't seen her father for over two years now.

However, by December, the case appeared to have been stopped when the United Kingdom foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, visited Tehran and authorities later said the new trial had been cancelled.

During the hearing on Saturday, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is quoted as saying: "I have never been involved in overthrowing the regime". She also asked him to issue a formal diplomatic note protesting against the new charges and invented case 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. She is now held in Tehran's Evin prison where she is on medication for depression and panic attacks.

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'She kisses me so hard.

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.

Last week, Prime Minister Theresa May made a fresh appeal for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual United Kingdom nationals in a phone call with counterpart Hassan Rouhani.

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