The husband of detained British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe said he will continue his hunger strike outside Whitehall after meeting with Foreign Minister Liz Truss.
Richard Ratcliffe, who started a hunger strike on Sunday, said ministers continued to be “too shy” in trying to get his wife home from Iran.
He was joined at the meeting by his deputy Tulip Siddiq.
The Foreign Office said it “will continue to put pressure on Iran” on the case.
Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a 43-year-old mother from Hampstead, North London, has been detained in Iran since 2016 on a spying charge and has not seen the couple’s young daughter, Gabriella, for two years.
He is serving the second of two prison sentences, this one on probation for a propaganda sentence against the Iranian regime.
Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has always denied any wrongdoing, is staying with her mother in Iran but cannot leave the country.
But he risks returning to prison after losing an appeal against the latest sentence. Ratcliffe said it was only a matter of time before his wife was called back to prison.
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Mr. Ratcliffe brought a painted stone to the hour-long meeting Thursday to remind Ms. Truss of the government’s continuing commitment to leave no stone unturned in their attempts to get his wife home.
Speaking after the meeting, he told the BBC that he was “disappointed” that the government had not offered any assurance on his release.
“My criticism of the British government is that they did not prioritize the safety of British citizens in their nuclear negotiations, in their discussions with Iran and other things were more important,” he said. “And in reality nothing is more important to the government than protecting its citizens.”
Two tents have been set up off Whitehall in London, near the Foreign Office and Downing Street, with “Free Nazanin” signs along with flowers and a collection of small colored rocks.
In 2019 Ratcliffe went on a 15-day hunger strike outside the Iranian embassy in London.
Labor MP Siddiq told the House of Commons on Monday that Ratcliffe’s hunger strike was a call to Ms. Truss and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “do more to challenge Iran’s hostage-taking and to bring Nazanin home “.
The Foreign Office said: “Iran’s decision to proceed with these baseless accusations against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a frightening continuation of the cruel ordeal it is going through.
“Instead of threatening to take Nazanin back to prison, Iran must finally release her so that she can go home.”
He added that he will do “everything possible” to help Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe return home and will continue to pressure Iran.
- Elizabeth Truss
- Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
- Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe case
Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband starts a new hunger strike
- 3 days ago
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe loses Iran’s appeal
- October 16
Nazanin’s husband talks to Truss about his detained wife
- September 19
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