Published: Tue, May 22, 2018
Entertaiment | By Mabel Barber

Iran judge tells British woman to expect conviction on 'propaganda'

Iran judge tells British woman to expect conviction on 'propaganda'

The Foreign Secretary said everything possible was being done to secure the release of the British mother - as it emerged she is facing fresh charges of spreading propaganda against the regime in Tehran.

But Mr Ratcliffe said: "She was told by Judge Salavati to expect that she will be convicted".

Following Saturday's hearing, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was allowed to phone the new British ambassador to Iran from prison, "the first time she had been allowed any contact with the British embassy in more than two years" says Sky News.

However, by December, the case appeared to have been stopped when the United Kingdom foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, visited Tehran and authorities later said the new trial had been cancelled.

During their conversation, she asked hím to visit, and to issue a diplomatic notice protesting against the charges.

She has asked for temporary release from prison next month to celebrate her daughter's fourth birthday.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "The Foreign Office is urgently seeking more information from the Iranian authorities. I do not want to overthrow the regime", the statement quoted her as saying.

Asked whether he thought his wife was getting caught up in the global row and was useful to the Iranians, Mr Ratcliffe admitted his wife's case had been political for a long time.

Her employer and the British government say she was in Iran visiting relatives when she was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016 while traveling home with her daughter.

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She is already serving a five-year jail term after being convicted of plotting to overthrow the Iranian regime - something she has always denied.

She said in a statement released through the campaign to free her: 'Sometimes when I come back from the visit with Gabriella, after saying goodbye to her, I feel like I can not live without her, I want to go back and hold her.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's high-profile case has become intertwined with Johnson's political career since he made an erroneous statement a year ago, which appeared to complicate her legal situation.

'She kisses me so hard.

'After the news of a new court case again, yesterday was one of those days.

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Last week, Prime Minister Theresa May made a fresh appeal for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual United Kingdom nationals in a phone call with counterpart Hassan Rouhani.

Richard Ratcliffe, who spoke to his wife after she appeared in the latest trial, said she burst into tears while discussing her daughter, who will turn four in June.

The judge said he would address her case "as a priority".

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