LONDON — Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian charity employee whose arrest and detention in Tehran since 2016 has roiled relations between Britain and Iran, has been launched and can fly again to Britain, a British lawmaker mentioned on Wednesday.
“Nazanin is on the airport in Tehran and on her method dwelling,” mentioned the lawmaker, Tulip Siddiq, on Twitter.
The detention of Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and different British nationals in Iran, prompted debate in Britain concerning the nation’s obligations towards residents who run into issues overseas, amid accusations by their households that they have been getting used as diplomatic chips in disputes between Britain and Iran, together with over a failed arms deal in 1976.
The newest transfer additionally got here as American and European negotiators had been edging towards a pact limiting Iran’s nuclear program in trade for lifting financial sanctions on the nation.
Ms. Siddiq, who represents the world of London the place Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s household lives and has been deeply concerned in advocating for consideration to her case, had mentioned on Tuesday that the charity employee had acquired her passport again from Iranian authorities, a small step towards leaving Iran.
The discharge of Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a venture supervisor for the Thomson Reuters Basis, got here after a long-running marketing campaign of seeming breakthroughs and sudden limitations to releasing her. She was detained at Tehran’s airport in 2016 on the way in which again to Britain after visiting relations in Iran.
Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was charged with plotting to overthrow the Iranian authorities and sentenced to 5 years in jail, and later moved to deal with arrest in her household’s dwelling in Tehran in 2020, throughout the coronavirus epidemic.
Freedom appeared shut final yr after that sentence got here to an finish and she or he was permitted to cease carrying an ankle tag, however she was as an alternative held on new fees of “propaganda actions,” banned from journey and sentenced to a different yr of detention.
Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, has denied all of the shifting fees towards her, accusing the Iranian authorities of utilizing her as a diplomatic pawn.
“It’s been clear for a very long time that the Iranian authorities have been concentrating on international nationals with spurious nationwide security-related fees to exert diplomatic stress,” mentioned Sacha Deshmukh, chief govt of Amnesty Worldwide U.Okay., after the information that Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe had acquired her passport again.
Mr. Ratcliffe has mentioned that Iranian officers had prior to now informed Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe that she could be launched as soon as Britain repaid a debt of 400 million kilos, or about $522 million, to Iran associated to the 1976 arms deal. Western nations, together with the US, have accused Iran of utilizing their residents as leverage over money owed.
Megan Specia contributed reporting from Warsaw.