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Iran’s UK envoy challenges accounts by husband of jailed spy

Iran’s UK envoy challenges accounts by husband of jailed spy

Iran’s UK envoy challenges accounts by husband of jailed spy
June 17
21:50 2019

Iran’s ambassador to the United Kingdom Hamid Baeidinejad has challenged a series of claims by the British husband of an Iranian spy as the man goes on an alleged hunger strike in front of the Iranian embassy in London to protest against the imprisonment of his wife in Iran.

In a post on Twitter late on Sunday, Baeidinejad rejected claims by Richard Ratcliffe that he has been denied a visa to go to Iran to see his wife, Nazanin Zaghari, in prison.

Baeidinejad said Ratcliffe has also wrongly pretended to the media in the UK that his only child, the 5-year-old Gabriella, had been banned from leaving Iran since her mother was arrested in a Tehran airport in April 2016.

“At least he did not admit that his daughter’s passport was not confiscated and he himself has never applied for an Iranian visa,” said the Iranian diplomat while mentioning an interview with Ratcliffe aired on the Farsi television of the BBC on Sunday.


Baeidinejad also challenged content of the coverage provided by the BBC on Ratcliffe’s protest in front of the Iranian embassy in London, saying the TV channel had sought to depict Ratcliffe in a miserable and solitary condition on the street despite the fact that for the past days his supporters had blocked the main gates of the diplomatic mission.

“BBC Farsi aired an interview with Richard Ratcliffe tonight which showed him alone and innocent in a corner while on hunger strike. This was an artificial scene which had been contrived at the time of the interview,” read Baeidinejad’s tweet, adding that Iranian embassy had been blocked for the past two days due to the crowds who came to see Ratcliffe outside the mission.

In another tweet on Sunday, Baeidinejad posted a snapshot of a story by the Press Association in which Ratcliffe had expressed his resentment for Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary and the main contender to replace outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The post by the Iranian ambassador seemed to be in line with claims that Ratcliffe’s protest in front of the Iranian embassy is being encouraged by incumbent Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt who is behind Johnson in the Conservative Party leadership race.

Ratcliffe has repeatedly claimed in his interviews to the British media that he has been deprived of a visit to Iran to see his wife and daughter who still lives with her grandparents in Tehran.

He has sought to show that Nazani Zaghari has been wrongly detained in Iran and Tehran is using her to pressure London over diplomatic issues.

Iranian authorities have repeatedly rejected the claims, saying they have evidence showing that Zaghari had helped British intelligence services to recruit people inside Iran under the guise of journalists.

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