Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Boris Johnson apologises to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe over 'anguish'

Boris Johnson apologises to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe over 'anguish'

The country's state TV broadcaster claimed the Foreign Secretary's suggestion that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was "training journalists" in Iran at the time of her arrest amounted to an "unintended admission" of her guilt.

Asked if he would make the trip to visit the dual British-Iranian national, he replied "of course", adding there were "obvious humanitarian grounds" for Nazanin's release.

Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt told Mr Ratcliffe on Friday "serious consideration" was being given to allowing him to travel to Iran with Mr Johnson. He will meet Richard Ratcliffe, Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband on Wednesday.

"It's hard to imagine such a mistake being made by an FCO official but, even if it were, the buck stops with the Foreign Secretary", said Mr Penman.

The consultant said the lumps were likely to be benign but her family history of breast cancer, along with the pain, meant she should be kept under "close surveillance".

Michael Gove, Britain's Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, arrives in Downing Street for a cabinet meeting in London, October 17, 2017.

The Iranian judiciary and media seized upon Mr Johnson's statement as proof of her guilt and she is now facing a new trial for "propaganda against the regime", which could see her face an additional time in jail.

Gove, however, told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "One of the things I want to stress is that there is no reason why Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe should be in prison in Iran so far as any of us know".

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"I keep reassuring her that she will be home by Christmas and the evidence is anything but that".

"Boris Johnson's cavalier approach to global diplomacy is compounded this morning by Michael Gove claiming he has no idea what Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing in Iran".

Concern over her physical and mental health is growing, and neither Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe nor her husband has had access to their daughter, who is being looked after by her grandparents in Iran.

Prime Minister Theresa May faces mounting pressure to sack Johnson, who will not apologise for or correct his mistake.

"He should be focusing on getting this poor woman home to her family, not looking to protect himself with anonymous briefings to journalists".

"It appears Gove is more interested in protecting Johnson's job than the liberty of a British citizen in jail in Iran". "Theresa May must ensure Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe does not pay the price for her ministers' bungling".

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