‘Why was I left in Iran for 6 yrs’


While Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard thanked the British government for getting his wife home, she said she could not agree, reports Asian Lite News

British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe said on Monday she should not have been left in Iran for six years and questioned why Britain had failed to get her home before her return last week.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe arrived in Britain from Iran in the early hours of Thursday following six years when she was detained in Tehran and convicted by an Iranian court of plotting to overthrow the clerical establishment.

She returned to Britain after London resolved what it called a parallel issue – repaying a historic 400 million-pound ($526 million) debt for the purchase of military tanks to Tehran that dated back to 1979.

While Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard thanked the British government for getting his wife home, she said she could not agree.

“What’s happened now should have happened six years ago,” she told a news conference in the House of Commons in Westminster. “It should have happened exactly six years ago, I shouldn’t have been in prison for six years.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested by Revolutionary Guards at Tehran airport on April 3, 2016, while trying to return to Britain with her then 22-month-old daughter Gabriella from an Iranian new year’s trip to see her parents.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe and retired civil engineer Anoosheh Ashoori were released on Wednesday last week with efforts by the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries to free dozens of dual citizens jailed in Iran, which does not recognise dual citizenship. Iran has accused the captives of spying and sentenced them to long prison terms in harsh conditions, according to AP News.

She further stated that she is not going to hold a grudge against anyone for the rest of her life, adding that she had only recently returned home and that holding that anger is a bit premature. However, she said that it was supposed to happen six years ago and the politicians took a long time to figure it out. She claimed that people like her should not be used as pawns in international issues.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe declined to answer questions concerning her detention, such as how she found the strength to endure months of solitary confinement or whether her prison guards showed her any sympathy. She was more comfortable discussing the joy she felt when she stepped off the plane with her husband and daughter on Thursday morning.

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