Officials in the United Kingdom said on Thursday that they had pressured Iranian deputy foreign minister Ali Bagheri Kani to free dual citizens arrested in Iran, including British-Iranian humanitarian worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
At a meeting in London, British foreign office officials also urged Bagheri Kani that Iran should finish the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal on the parameters currently on the table, according to the foreign ministry.
“The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister was again stressed on the need for all British nationals unfairly incarcerated in Iran, notably Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Anoosheh Ashoori, and Morad Tahbaz, to be released as soon as possible,” the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said in a statement.
The Iranian foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment right away.
In April 2016, Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested at a Tehran airport and eventually convicted of trying to destabilize the religious system.
Just a month after completing a previous five-year sentence, an Iranian court condemned Zaghari-Ratcliffe to a fresh term in prison on allegations of propaganda against Iran’s ruling system. The sentence has not yet begun, despite the fact that it was upheld by an appeals court.
The charges have been disputed by Zaghari-family Ratcliffe’s and the foundation. The Thomson Reuters Foundation is a non-profit organization that operates separately of Thomson Reuters and its news arm Reuters.
Richard Ratcliffe, her husband, is fasting to bring attention to her case. On Thursday, he met with James Cleverly, the British minister for the Middle East.
Ratcliffe told reporters after leaving the Foreign Office, “If I’m honest, quite a gloomy encounter,” adding that Cleverly told him the discussion with Bagheri Kani was amicable.
“(Cleverly) couldn’t specify a time frame for when things would happen.”
Cleverly confirmed the government’s commitment to reuniting Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her family in the UK, according to the FCDO.