The campaign to free British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe held in Iran will submit a list of ten Iranians to the UK foreign secretary, Liz Truss, and urge her to sanction them for their role in “hostage-taking” of several dual citizens including the 43-year-old Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
The ten Iranians the campaign wants to be sanctioned include those involved in various stages of Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s arrest, interrogation, trial, and abuse in prison as well as those who led false propaganda against her or were involved in her “deployment as an asset in diplomatic negotiations”. The campaign has said that it is not releasing the names of the ten Iranians at this stage for security reasons.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager for the Thomson-Reuters Foundation, has been detained in Iran for nearly 2,000 days. She is currently serving a second prison term for propaganda against the Iranian regime but is under house arrest due to the pandemic. Zaghari-Ratcliffe previously spent four years in prison, including eight months in solitary confinement.
Richard Ratcliffe, Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, has repeatedly charged that the Iranian government has taken his wife hostage to force the British government to repay 400-million-pounds it received in the 1970s to deliver Chieftain tanks to Iran.
“Iran conducts its diplomatic business through hostage-taking, in part because it is cost-free. British citizens will not be protected from hostage-taking by words and soundbites, but by actions that cause the perpetrators to reassess their calculations and consider the personal costs – for their role in what is a serial organised crime,” Richard Ratcliffe told the Guardian. He also called on Truss to be “proactive” and “brave” when she engages with Iranian officials “or there will be more hostages taken by Iran, and new copycat regimes”.
Liz Truss is scheduled to meet with Iran’s new foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in New York next week during the United Nations annual General Assembly meeting (UNGA). This will be the first meeting of British and Iranian foreign ministers since 2018. She is the fifth UK foreign secretary since Zaghari-Ratcliffe was first detained.
Source: Iran International