"I can't believe it — what is going on in that country? I am so worried — worried that the new Foreign Secretary will need to spend months first reading the file, and then wanting to build relations, and then make new visits. And I am left waiting."
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British mother and charity worker has been detained in Iran since 3rd April 2016 after being convicted of spying charges and sentenced for five years in jail. Mrs. Zaghari-Ratcliffe denies the charges against her.
Nazanin was awaiting a decision on diplomatic protection. The file was on Boris's desk, he appears to have left office before signing this off. It’s crucial that Jeremy Hunt looks at it urgently & gets this process underway fast. We cannot lose any more time. #freenazanin https://t.co/tCmCkqR4gC— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) July 10, 2018
Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe launched a petition to Theresa May to use her power and intervene but had his hopes dashed after former foreign secretary Boris Johnson returned from a trip to Tehran without Nazanin.
"Our story has become a test of endurance, and there is a need to recharge spirits — particularly after the disappointment of the Foreign Secretary's mission failing to deliver, and Nazanin becoming caught up in this government stand off," Mr. Ratcliffe told British media.
#FreeNazanin— Amanda🌍 (@Amandalavan1) July 9, 2018
My tweets have become repetitive. My tweets are annoying to those I have tweeted daily for 2.5 yrs regarding an innocent mother hostage in Iran. I have been blocked by many. How is supporting an innocent mother being tortured bothersome@theresa_may @AlistairBurtUK pic.twitter.com/RaDOxikN75
Their daughter Gabriella Ratcliffe has had her British passport confiscated and is stranded in Iran with her grandparents. Nazanin has not been allowed to access a lawyer or her daughter.
Boris Johnson had promised to "leave no stone unturned" to help free Mrs. Zaghari-Ratcliffe but has left the case not only open — but worse after Johnson told a parliamentary committee Nazanin had been in Iran to train journalists. He later apologized in the Commons, retracting "any suggestion she was there in a professional capacity."
The family and friends of Nazanin had hoped Johnson would make amends and provide Nazanin with diplomatic protection but he resigned from his position before any decision had been finalized.
Boris Johnson's resignation has to mean a departure from his catastrophic efforts to bring Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe back to West Hampstead. His successor must do more to bring her home. #FreeNazanin— Tulip Siddiq (@TulipSiddiq) July 9, 2018
"The resignation came at an unfortunate time for Nazanin. Since last week the file for the Foreign Secretary's final decision on providing Nazanin diplomatic protection had been finalized by FCO staff and put on the Foreign Secretary's desk," the family said in a statement. "We had been hoping for a decision this week. However, the resignation came before this decision was made."
"We have been informed that a decision will no longer happen imminently. A period of time will likely be required by the new Foreign Secretary to be fully briefed across his whole portfolio, and then the file will need to be re-submitted after some time with our request again that Nazanin be protected. This new delay is an unfortunate consequence of the resignation," the family said in a statement.
In a call from Evin Prison, Nazanin expressed her disbelief over Johnson's resignation and the legacy it leaves for her situation — but she articulates a question the majority of people living in Britain is also asking "what is going on in that country?"
Meeting the worst Foreign Secretary we’ve ever had amongst the destruction of Hurricane Irma in Anguilla. Disinterested and out of his depth he cared nothing for our situation. Good riddance pic.twitter.com/udzzpoZ7OW— John McKendrick QC🇦🇮🇬🇧🇵🇦🇪🇺🏳️🌈 (@JohnMQC) July 9, 2018