THE FAMILY of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe are "enjoying the good news" after she was temporarily released from prison in Iran.

The British-Iranian mother 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 was able to speak face-to-face with husband Richard Ratcliffe and their daughter Gabriella over the phone.

Her sister-in-law, Rebecca Ratcliffe, a GP in Cwmbran, said the whole family were "thrilled" with the news.


"We heard rumours Nazanin may have been one of the prisoners eligible for release, but then heard news that contradicted that, so we were really thrilled that she was one of the prisoners released," she said.

"However, we have been here before, when she was granted furlough but was then returned to prison in a traumatic state. For that to happen again would be devastating.

"But we are enjoying the good news at the moment.

"She phoned Richard from the taxi. For them to be able to speak face to face, and for her to see Gabriella, it's such a relief to see."

Unlike other prisoners given temporary release, Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe 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.

Ms Ratcliffe also called for the government to put pressure on Iran to make her sister-in-law's release permanent.

"At the moment, she has only been given two weeks release, and has to wear a tag," she said. "We would like to see the government put political pressure on Iran to make this permanent."

Ms Ratcliffe also offered an update on Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe's health.

"Nazanin was showing flu-like symptoms, but she didn't get tested so she was never diagnosed with Covid-19," she said. "But we believe that is what she had.

"From what we have heard she is recovering from that."

In a statement released by her family, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe 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."