British charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been freed from Iran after nearly six years in prison in Iran. She reunited with her family as she departed the plane at RAF Brize Norton, Britain, on March 17, 2022. 

Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s family have previously claimed that she was being used as political pawns in a dispute over the debt, as well as for leverage in the talks over the Iran nuclear deal. The British government had formerly said that the issues were not linked.

Who is Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe?

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is an Iranian-British dual citizen who was detained in Iran from 3 April 2016 to 16 March 2022. Before her arrest, she lived in London with her daughter Gabriella and husband Richard Ratcliffe, who is an accountant.

Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe Husband, Daughter, Family
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband and daughter.

Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe formerly worked as a project manager for the Thomson Reuters Foundation and for BBC Media Action, an international development foundation.

She was visiting Iran with her daughter Gabriella when she was detained.

What was Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Accused of Doing?

Mrs. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was accused by Iranian officials of plotting to overthrow the government in Tehran, but no official charges were ever made public. She was sentenced to five years in prison by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards for directing a “foreign-linked hostile network.”

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe stated that she had been taking her now seven-year-old daughter Gabriella to visit her parents and celebrate the Iranian new year.

Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe Released, Arrested, Husband

The Thomson Reuters Foundation and BBC Media Action both released statements stating that she was not working in Iran but was on vacation.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe served her final year in prison on parole at her parents’ house in Tehran. However, she was sentenced to another year in prison and a one-year travel ban in April 2021 after being found guilty of propaganda against the Iranian regime. She then lost her appeal against the second conviction.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss slammed the decision at the time as “an atrocious prolongation of the cruel ordeal” Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was going through.

When was Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Released?

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, together with Anoosheh Ashoori, was released on March 16, 2022, and returned to the United Kingdom the next day.

The decision to release her has been linked to the UK’s settlement of a £400 million debt related to an unfulfilled armaments sale in the 1970s. However the Iranian government has rejected this, and British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has referred to them as “parallel concerns.”

Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe Net Worth, Husband, Arrested

Her family’s campaigning, British diplomacy’s focus on the subject, and an alignment of interests between the two countries in respect to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have all been mentioned as contributing factors for her release.

Who is Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s Husband?

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is married to Richard Ratcliffe, who is an accountant. The two have been married for over 12 years as they tied the knot in 2009. They share a seven-year-old daughter named Gabrielle.

Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe Husband, Daughter, Family
Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe with her husband and daughter.

On May 7, 2016, Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband launched an online petition urging both Iran’s supreme leader and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to take appropriate action to secure the safe return of his wife and daughter. The petition received over 3.5 million supporters in 155 countries.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her husband also went on hunger strike in June 2019, in protest at Nazanin’s imprisonment, with her husband camping outside the Iranian Embassy in London.

After the release of his wife, Richard is excited to be a normal family again.


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