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Boris Johnson apologises over Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe 'distress' in Iran
15 November 2017, 12:56 | Glen Norman
ReutersNazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe and her daughter Gabriella in London before her arrest
Urging Iran once more to release Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe on humanitarian grounds, Mr Johnson said: 'Iran's regime and no one else has chosen to separate this mother from her infant daughter for reasons that even they find it hard to explain or describe'.
She was sentenced to five years after being convicted by an Iranian court of plotting to overthrow the Islamic Republic's clerical establishment.
The husband of jailed British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has gone to the Foreign Office for talks with Boris Johnson on efforts to secure her return from Iran.
Earlier this month, Johnson told the Foreign Affairs Committee that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been training journalists in Iran, when in fact she was on holiday visiting family.
ReutersBoris Johnson said his remarks were no cause for the Iranian regime to increase Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's sentence
Boris Johnson retracted his statement in the House of Commons yesterday. It is also important that I can go with him.
Mr Ratcliffe is expected to raise the continued coverage of Mr Johnson's comments in the Iranian media and will seek to clarify the position on any new charges she faces.
Responding to Labour's initial question, Mr Johnson earlier outlined the circumstances of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's arrest before adding the UK Government has "no doubt" she was in Iran on holiday.
Mr Ratcliffe said his wife is "on the verge of a nervous breakdown" and angry at the Foreign Secretary for allowing the situation to become "a shambles".
There have been calls for Johnson to quit in the wake of the gaffe, but Ratcliffe said he should stay and clean up his mess.
She has been detained since April 2016 and is one of eight people with dual Iranian and foreign nationality held in prison in Iran as of last month, according to the New York-based Centre for Human Rights in Iran.
Downing Street confirmed that the Foreign Office is looking into the possible use of the status after Richard Ratcliffe spoke with the Foreign Secretary by phone at the weekend.
The Foreign Secretary told MPs on Monday there were "overwhelming" humanitarian grounds for her release and stressed that she was in Iran on holiday.
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The foreign secretary has sought advice from officials to determine whether conferring the status could help, including what impact it would have on the support provided and the representations being made on Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's behalf, according to the United Kingdom government.
Ratcliffe will meet Johnson and his consular specialists at the Foreign Office on Wednesday. "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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