BRITISH-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is among thousands of prisoners temporarily released from jail by the government in Tehran because of the coronavirus outbreak, her husband has said.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, whose sister-in-law Rebecca Ratcliffe is a GP in Cwmbran, was arrested at Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport while travelling to show her young daughter, Gabriella, to her parents in April 2016. She was sentenced to five years in prison over allegations, which she denies, of plotting to overthrow the Tehran government.


Husband Richard Radcliffe said, unlike other prisoners given temporary release, his wife has to wear an ankle tag, which her parents had to hire from the authorities, and her movements will be restricted to 300 metres from her parents' home.

He said: "My feelings today have been all of a mix - pleased at the happiness for Nazanin and (their daughter) Gabriella, but fear this is a new drawn out game of chess."

He added: "The issue now is to make it permanent and bring Nazanin home. It is one feeling to walk out of prison. It is completely different to walk back in. No one should be asked to go and be a hostage again. So we are watching carefully."

His wife said: "I am so happy to be out. Even with the ankle tag, I am so happy. Being out is so much better than being in - if you knew what hell this place is. It is mental. Let us hope it will be the beginning of coming home."

Following her temporary release, foreign secretary Dominic Raab said: "I am relieved that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was today temporarily released into the care of her family in Iran.

"We urge the regime to ensure she receives any necessary medical care.

"While this is a welcome step, we urge the government now to release all UK dual nationals arbitrarily detained in Iran, and enable them to return to their families in the UK."