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‘This should have happened 6 years ago’ Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe reveals she lost faith in Bri | United Kingdom | News UK News

Nazanin, 43, revealed her faith in Britain’s foreign secretaries had diminished while she remained captive in Iran. Speaking for the first time since her return, she said: “I saw five foreign secretaries. I was told many times, “Oh, we’ll take you home”, it never happened. “How many foreign ministers does it take for someone to go home? Five? What happened now should have happened six years ago.

Nazanin, 43, a dual British/Iranian national, was arrested in Tehran in 2016 after taking her 22-month-old daughter to see her parents.

Wrongfully accused of false espionage charges, she was sentenced to five years in prison.

In reality, she was a human bargaining chip in the endless wrangling between Britain and Iran over a failed arms deal from the 1970s.

Before being dethroned in 1979, the Shah of Iran paid Britain £405 million for 1,750 Chieftain tanks and other armored vehicles.

Only 185 were delivered before Britain tore up the contract following the Iranian revolution that brought the anti-Western Ayatollah Khomeini to power.

Nazanin, who was a baby when the Shah was overthrown, said: “I have been a pawn in the hands of both governments for the past six years.”

She added: “What upset me all these years was that my life was tied to something that had nothing to do with me.”

When asked if she was angry with the government, she replied, “I couldn’t be happier than to be here. But also… this should have happened six years ago. I think that answers your question.

“I always felt like I kept this black hole in my heart all these years, but I’m just going to leave this black hole in my heart on the plane, when the plane is gone.

“I’m not going to live the rest of my life with a grudge.”

She added ‘what happened to me was cruel’ but said she had only just returned, adding: ‘I think it’s a bit early to hold this grudge.

“But it should have happened six years ago. It took a very, very long time for politicians to fix the problem.

She also called for the release of other Iranian detainees, saying, “I was lucky to be recognized internationally.”

Nazanin made an emotional call for the release of Morad Tahbaz and other detainees still held in Iran.

Environmentalist M. Tahbaz, 66, detained since 2018, was briefly released under house arrest as Nazanin prepared to return home last week.

The Anglo-American national was returned to his cell and is currently on hunger strike.

Nazanin said “the sense of freedom will never be complete” until Mr. Tahbaz and other dual nationals are freed and reunited with their families.

She thanked everyone who helped secure her release and paid tribute to her “incredible” husband Richard and daughter Gabriella, seven.

Mr Ratcliffe said: “It has been a long struggle. I am immensely, immensely happy and proud of my wife, and proud to have her home, proud that we are starting a new chapter and becoming a normal family again.

Mr Ratcliffe said he felt like he had spent six years ‘ostensibly waiting’, adding: ‘And here we are. So thank you to everyone who helped bring Nazanin home and to us get back together again.

He said returning to normal would involve “small steps”, adding: “I’m super proud of her strength, her survival and her grace.

“I’m so glad she’s back home, that she came to our house. We’re still negotiating if Dad is allowed in the same bed as Gabriella and Nazanin. “We will get there.”

Mr Ratcliffe said: ‘I think we’ll do it and then we’ll fade away and heal a bit.’

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This notice was published: 2022-03-21 15:19:00

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