NEWS
23/07/2018 17:03 BST

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Told No Release Until UK Government Repays Debt To Iran

'I walk around the ward like a ghost.'

Chris J Ratcliffe via Getty Images
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was jailed in Iran in 2016 for allegedly seeking to overthrow the government 

Jailed Briton Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been told she will not be granted temporary release, given parole or shown clemency on humanitarian grounds.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard, 48, of West Hampstead, London, confirmed his wife had been taken to meet with a parole judge this weekend, where she was told her case will not progress until a decades-old UK government debt to Iran is repaid.

The British-Iranian citizen has been detained by Iranian authorities since 2016 for allegedly seeking to overthrow the government.

Britain was ordered by an international court in The Hague to return the rumoured £400m debt paid in the 1970s by Iran’s pre-revolutionary government for an order of Chieftain tanks which were never delivered to the new Islamic Republic.

The money is understood to be held by the High Court, but has not been cleared for payment.

After the hearing Zaghari-Ratcliffe told her family: “I am gutted. I walk around the ward like a ghost feeling like I cannot go on, I cannot cope with the thought of years more of this. I felt like a dead person.

“What they are doing to me is phenomenal. I don’t know why nothing good happens in my case. I just don’t know.”

In September, the 40-year-old will have served half of her current five year sentence and will become eligible for unconditional release, her second court case notwithstanding. She is said to have spent eight-and-a-half months in solitary confinement before being moved to a general ward.

The family are pressing to meet with new Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss granting her diplomatic protection. It follows a diplomatic blunder where Boris Johnson wrongly claimed Zaghari-Ratcliffe was “training journalists” in Iran.