Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Boris Johnson to meet husband

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Mr Johnson told the chamber he will meet with Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband on Wednesday to discuss whether she might be offered "diplomatic protection" in a bid to secure her safe return.

The meeting comes as Mr Johnson faces calls for his resignation after he suggested to MPs that Mr Ratcliffe's wife, an aid worker, was in Iran to train journalists.

She was sentenced to five years after being convicted by an Iranian court of plotting to overthrow the Islamic Republic's clerical establishment.

The conservative representative for Tonbridge and Malling spoke after Mr Johnson restated the Government's plea that Iranian authorities release Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe on humanitarian grounds.

Speaking to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, he said: "Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, nor her family, has been informed about what crime she has actually committed". He apologised for his remarks on Monday.

Earlier this week, Downing Street said it was "one of the options" being considered in the case.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation, a charity organisation that is independent of Thomson Reuters and operates independently of Reuters News, said Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been on holiday and had not been teaching journalism in Iran. She is now being detained in Iran after being convicted of "spying".

A Foreign Office statement said the pair will meet to discuss Mr Ratcliffe's request to give his wife "diplomatic protection" - which, under worldwide law, allows a state to take diplomatic action on behalf of a national.

Consular officials will be at the meeting, along with Middle East minister Alistair Burt, who has already met Mr Ratcliffe and visited Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's family in Tehran. "The government will continue to do this in the way that we judge is in their best interests, and the foreign secretary has made it clear that no stone should be left unturned".

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