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The Guardian Weekly - 2021-05-07

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Zaghari-Ratcliffe treatment amounts to torture

Global Report

The treatment of Nazanin ZaghariRatcliffe amounts to torture, the British foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, has said, as the Foreign Office downplayed an Iranian state TV report saying Britain would pay a £400m ($556m) debt to secure her release. Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said the family had “heard nothing” about a new deal. The Foreign Office said “legal discussions are ongoing” despite the claim made on Iranian state TV, which cited an anonymous official. It was being said that the UK government’s position had not changed last weekend and that Iran had made the claim before without Zaghari-Ratcliffe having been released. In a BBC interview, Raab said it was difficult to argue with the characterisation that ZaghariRatcliffe was being held state hostage by the Iranians. For the first time, Raab said her fate was tied to not just the debt the UK government owes to Iran that dates back to 1979 revolution but also the outcome of talks on the future of the 2015 nuclear deal.

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