The sentencing of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to a year in prison and a year’s travel ban by the Iranian state is a tragedy and a disgrace. It’s widely believed that this is a case of hostage diplomacy, but whether or not the UK owes Iran money for non-delivery of a tank order made before the revolution, this is a barbaric and unforgivable way to enact revenge.
To detain an innocent mother who already completed a five-year jail term on a spurious charge is making a mockery of due process.
The British Government has a moral imperative to redouble its efforts in appealing this sentence for an innocent woman who should have never been arrested in the first place.
If Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe is forced to serve this jail time, it will be one of this country’s greatest failures of diplomacy.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s latest sentence is absolutely devastating. That an innocent woman is being used as a bargaining chip is a disgrace, and the pain her family is being put through is unimaginable. She is being held hostage by Iran on a trumped-up charge and denied the right to be with her husband and child. Medics say she has suffered torture and has PTSD. It is imperative that the Foreign Secretary urgently outlines what steps the Government will take to ensure Nazanin returns home.
Emma Loffhagen, Comment writer
Don’t dismiss the Scottish vote
Who understood the enormity of Brexit 10 days before we voted on it? The significance of the Scottish elections on May 6 seems diluted down in England. The reality is a massive constitutional fork looming in the road ahead. Will the “U” stay in UK? The potential impact of this election is greater than we realise. Has there ever been a time when we needed the strength of our union more?