FNA – The recent remarks by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt over the case of Nazanin Zaghari – a dual citizen jailed in Iran for security charges – have enraged Iranian officials, with Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Eje’i warning London on Sunday to stay off the case.
Addressing a weekly press briefing in Tehran on Sunday, Mohseni Eje’i joined Iranian foreign ministry officials and slammed Hunt for threatening Iran over Zaghari’s case.
“Firstly, he has done a damn wrong move to threaten (Iran)”. “Secondly, releasing or keeping Zaghari (in jail) is no way affected by their interference.”
Hunt had late in December accused Iran of keeping a British-Iranian dual national in prison as a tool for diplomatic leverage, calling it “monstrous”.
Iran’s laws do not recognize dual citizenship.
The Iranian foreign ministry on Saturday lashed out at Hunt for his “interfering and hasty” remarks against Tehran, calling on London to look at its record of crimes in the Middle-East.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi deplored his remarks, saying, “I express regret over his use of such phrases and terms against Iran.”
“Unfortunately, the British foreign secretary has in recent days several times made hasty and incorrect remarks on an issue that principally is not related to his country, this discloses his lack of adequate knowledge about the issue and is interference in the internal affairs of an independent country,” he added.
Qassemi called on Hunt to take a precise look at his country’s record of crimes in the Middle-East, including Syria, Palestine and Yemen, saying that the plights and crises created for the regional people are the result of London’s supply of weapons to the aggressor governments.
“They should be ashamed of their political supports for the aggressive governments in Yemen, exports of weapons which kill people and the catastrophe which has happened in that country,” he said.
Hunt’s remarks alluded to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a 40-year-old project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, who was arrested in Tehran in April 2016 as she was returning to Britain.
Her case was then investigated by the revolutionary court and she was sentenced to a 5-year term in prison
While the British media have claimed that she was arrested after a family visit, former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told a parliamentary committee in November 2017 that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was “simply teaching people journalism as I understand it” when she was arrested at Tehran airport.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s employer, Thomson Reuters Foundation, claimed that she hadn’t been working in Iran but was on vacation, taking her toddler daughter to visit relatives.