The British-Iranian mother was freed after the UK settled an outstanding £400 million debt owing to Tehran was settled.
16 March 2022
Detained British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is returning to Britain after the Government settled an outstanding £400 million debt owed to the regime in Tehran.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe and a second dual national, Anoosheh Ashoori, will be reunited with their families in the UK after being released by the Iranian authorities.
A third dual national, Morad Tahbaz, has been released from prison on furlough.
The announcement brings an end to a six-year ordeal for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe who was arrested in 2016 in Tehran on spying charges – allegations she has always denied.
Mr Ashoori has been in prison for almost five years while Mr Tahbaz has been held for four.
Their release follows months of intensive diplomatic negotiations between London and Tehran.
Iranian state media said the UK has “settled a long-overdue debt” of around £400 million to Tehran.
It is understood the UK agreed to pay £393.8 million owed to Iran after it cancelled an order of Chieftain tanks following the overthrow of the Shah in the revolution of 1979.
Ms Truss tweeted: “I can confirm Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori will return to the UK today, and Morad Tahbaz has been released from prison on furlough. They will be reunited with their families later today.
“We will continue to work to secure Morad’s departure from Iran.”