British woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe loses final Iran jail appeal

A British-Iranian mother jailed in Tehran has lost a final appeal over her conviction for allegedly plotting to topple the government.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 38, was arrested at Tehran Airport on 3 April last year as she attempted to return to the UK following a holiday with her two-year-old daughter.

The charity worker was sentenced to five years in prison on "secret charges", with Iranian news agencies reporting she was convicted of plotting the "soft toppling" of Iran's government.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe maintains her innocence but has seen a final appeal over her conviction turned down by Iran's supreme court.

Both Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have raised her case with their counterparts in Iran.

The 38-year-old's husband said the decision was "not a surprise".

Richard Ratcliffe said: "We have had two secret trials and now a closed panel review.

"But it is still nonsense that even at this stage Nazanin still does not have firm details of the charges against her."

He added: "As her husband, I can say Nazanin is innocent until I am blue in the face.

"I have spent a year doing it. But it makes a clear difference that the government hasn't.

"It indulges the whispers."

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's daughter Gabriella remains in Iran with family after her passport was seized.

Iran does not recognise dual nationalities, and those detained cannot receive consular assistance.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's family say Iran's paramilitary Revolution Guard tried to get her to confess on camera that she trained and recruited spies.

Earlier this month, campaigners gathered to mark a year since Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained in Tehran.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said it is "deeply concerned" over her conviction.

In a statement, it said: "The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have both raised Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case with their counterparts in Iran. The Minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood, has spoken to his opposite number repeatedly to express our concern.

"We continue to press the Iranians for access and for due process to be followed, and are ready to help get her daughter back safely to the UK if requested."

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