NEWS
24/08/2018 15:30 BST

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's Husband Describes Joy Of Her Temporary Release

'That big smiling face. I couldn’t believe it.'

The husband of jailed Briton Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has said her temporary release from an Iranian jail is a “joy” and that “after all the ups and downs, it’s good to have an up”.

Richard Ratcliffe told ITV’s This Morning his wife had slept next to their daughter, Gabriella, for the first time since being detained in 2016 when she was accused of spying by Tehran’s Islamist regime.

He said: “She was telling me the fact that she wanted Gabriella to have a bath and bathe her.

“Last night, they slept next to each other. In the morning Gabriella said, ‘Oh, it’s you mummy, I thought it would be Granny.’”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been released from prison for three days although her lawyer is hopeful that this can be extended.

Ratcliffe has spoken to her via Skype but us unable to travel to Iran to see her in person as he has been denied a visa by Iranian authorities.

He said: “Yesterday I was going around talking [about] a happy story – she was out. I spoke to her on Skype, first time I’ve seen her in two years.”

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe reunited with her daughter Gabriella.

He continued: “That big smiling face. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t say anything particularly profound. It’s been so long coming. And there she was, happy.”

Ratcliffe also praised the new Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, saying he’d been their “lucky charm”. 

“Before, we had some baggage with the former Foreign Secretary [Boris Johnson], he then clearly tried to do his best. It got to a certain point and then it got to a lull,” he said.

“Jeremy Hunt’s come in and he’s been our lucky charm certainly, she’s now out of prison, we’ve had movement. He’s made some strong noises, obviously there has been work behind the scenes all along, so it’s not to sort of give him all the glory or equally to give his predecessor all the blame. It will have been battled.

“I’m pleased with my Foreign Secretary at the moment.”

Hunt is reportedly considering granting Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic immunity in an attempt to expedite her release.

A spokesperson for the FCO would confirm this when asked by HuffPost UK as “we do not think it is in the best interests of any of our dual national detainees to provide a running commentary on individual cases”.

Richard said: “I’m hopeful, one of the things the Iranian Ambassador to London did yesterday, he tweeted a picture of Nazanin, which is huge. There’s a hope there, if that can happen, a visa can come if need be.

The FCO spokesperson said: “We’re all up and down and today’s a real up day. If Sunday is a day back into prison, gosh it’ll all come crashing back down. So, I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.

“She was in quite a dark place, we’ll need to work through that even if she comes home and there’ll be, there’s a whole healing process. We haven’t got there yet, we’re enjoying the joy.”