26/09/2018 07:37 BST | Updated 26/09/2018 10:50 BST

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Theresa May Calls On Iran To Release Charity Worker

May shared her "serious concerns" with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani at the UN.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband and daughter 

The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary ramped up pressure on Iran to release a charity worker jailed in Tehran during talks at the United Nations in New York.

Theresa May told Iranian president Hassan Rouhani she had “serious concerns” about the jailing of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is currently serving a five year sentence for allegedly spying on Tehran’s Islamist regime, a charge she vehemently denies.

In talks of the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), May called for the British-Iranian mother to be released.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
May with Rouhani at the UN 

Their meeting came after Jeremy Hunt demanded rapid action to secure her freedom in his first face-to-face meeting with Iran’s foreign minister.

The Foreign Secretary told Javad Zarif that Zaghari-Ratcliffe must be returned home quickly.

Tweeting afterwards, he wrote: “I pressed for swift resolution on all our dual national consular cases, including Nazanin.

“NOT acceptable to detain innocent people arbitrarily at the cost of enormous human anguish.” 

“I again pressed for Nazanin’s swift release – she deserves to be back at home with her family,” Hunt said in another statement.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was detained at Imam Khomeini airport in April 2016.

Last month she was granted a three-day release from Evin prison but her request for an extension was denied and she was forced to say goodbye to her four-year-old daughter, Gabriella, and return to jail.

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe wrote an open letter to Mr Zarif calling the short release a “cruel game”.