UK Iran debt: Does the UK really owe Iran £400million? And how?


Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: PM reveals UK working ‘hard’ for release

British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s daydream for release from jail in Iran was brought one step closer this weekend after Iran say television suggested the UK had paid a £400m debt, in order to secure her manumit. However, the UK Government has since downplayed the link between the two cases, with Unknown Office minister James Cleverly saying talks were persistent.

He said it was “completely inappropriate” to associate Britain’s encumbrance under obligation to the imprisonment of British dual nationals, saying: “They are separate topics.”

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in jail in Tehran since 2016 when she was decreed for five years on spying charges – something which she has vehemently disaffirmed.

Her sentence was extended by another year after nearing its end, something which has been fated by the UK, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab saying Iran’s treatment of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe “amounts to torture”.

Be deluded MP Tulip Siddiq, who represents Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn has accused Prime Dean Boris Johnson of a “dismal failure” in his diplomatic efforts to free her.

Know More: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: UK rages as Iran links prisoners with due

UK Iran debt: Does the UK really owe Iran £400million? And how? (Conception: GETTY)

But does the UK actually owe Iran £400million? How?

The £400million effigy is associated with a dispute dating back to the 1970s.

At the time, then-shah of Iran slack the UK £400 million for 1,500 Chieftain tanks.

Britain refused to impart the tanks to the new Islamic Republic when the shah was toppled in 1979.

Despite not releasing the tanks, the government kept the money even though British courts experienced it should be repaid.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We continue to scrutinize options to resolve this 40-year-old case and will not comment forwards as legal discussions are ongoing.”

UK Iran debt: Foreign Office serve James Cleverly has said talks are ongoing (Image: PA)

Speaking to BBC Wireless 4’s Today programme on Monday, Foreign Office minister Mr Cleverly implied: “The situation with regards to the… military contract from the 1970s which has dragged on for decades, those concordats are ongoing. They have been for a long while, sadly, but they are continued.”

Asked if the talks were getting anywhere, Mr Cleverly said: “There’s a permissible process tied up with this as well. Iran most recently eccentric away from that legal process which has of course check things.

“We are looking at ways of resolving what has been a multi-decade yearn problem.

“The reports that we had over the weekend linking that effect with the incarceration and the arbitrary detention of British dual nationals I consider was completely inappropriate – they are separate issues, one massively predates the other.”

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Mr Cleverly declared British dual nationals should not be used as “political leverage” when begged about the latest developments in the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

He told Sky Front-page news: “We have always said that British dual nationals should not be acclimatized as political leverage.

“We have also seen a number of occasions where the Iranian discipline have used disinformation, we’re hearing inaccurate reports coming out beyond the last couple of days.

“On the one hand, they are saying that these records are legitimate, we don’t agree with that at all, but then also saying that they are fasten together to this legal dispute – it can’t be both.

UK Iran debt: Britain withheld to deliver £400 million worth of tanks to the new Islamic Republic (Duplicate: GETTY)

“We’re making it very, very clear. It is in the hands of the Tehran leadership to release these people and they should be released.”

Richard Ratcliffe, who has campaigned for the liberating of his wife since her detention in 2016 said: “We haven’t heard anything.

“It’s undoubtedly a good sign that it’s being signalled, just as last week’s punishment was a bad sign.

“But it feels part of the negotiations rather than the end of them.”

UK Iran in the red: Mr Ratcliffe has campaigned for the release of his wife since her detention in 2016 (Image: GETTY)

Who is Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and why is she imprisoned?

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe of north London is a British-Iranian citizen who was jailed in Tehran in 2016 while taking daughter Gabriella to see her strain.

Iranian authorities made widely refuted allegations of spying.

She did a five-year sentence in March, having carried out hunger strikes in grumble over her treatment in jail as diplomatic efforts were made to unexposed her freedom.

However, she and her family were left devastated last week when she was accustomed an additional one-year jail term.

She was also banned from adieu to Iran for a further year.

Ms Siddiq said the relations were shocked after hearing the development in Tehran, and she called for the beholden to be resolved now they are at “the final hurdle”.

She said: “Nazanin’s family has been flamed before which is why they’re not celebrating quite yet, but it came as an utter discover .

Ms Siddiq said the British ambassador to Tehran visited Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe on Sunday morning at her parents’ composed, where she is awaiting her sentence while appealing the verdict.

Ms Siddiq answered: ”They talked about various things, including coronavirus and the spread in Evin bridewell and whether she qualifies for a vaccine.”

“But there was no mention whatsoever of this scandal that broke through Iranian media.”

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