Richard Ratcliffe: UK needs to be 'braver' about challenging Iran
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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is an Iranian-British dual citizen who has been detained in Iran since April 2016. Ever since, her husband Richard Ratcliffe has been desperately campaigning for her release. He’s currently undertaking a hunger strike in the hopes it will push the British government to take action. Richard appeared on Good Morning Britain on Monday and presenter Martin Lewis questioned him about what actions he wants the government to take.
Martin began: “Richard you’re making your point loud and clear and thank you for joining us.
“What is it the government could actually do to make Iran move?
“Obviously relations between the two countries are not good. Iran is not a democracy that listens to press and public protests.
“What is it practically you would like the government to do to enable us to get Nazanin home?” the ITV presenter asked.
Richard replied: “Well, we’ve got four demands from the hunger strike, but in essence it’s two kinds of things.
“One is Nazanin was taken many years ago because the UK owed Iran some money and they took a mum and a baby hostage as sort of spectacularly provocative as possible to get their money back.
“They still haven’t had their money repaid, Nazanin and others are being held over it.
“The government could do the right thing and pay that money back. I don’t think it keeps British citizens safe by refusing to do so,” he commented.
Martin informed viewers: “That’s the four hundred million pounds that the government has accepted that it owes, but it says it can’t pay it due to sanctions.”
Richard said: “Yeah, at different points it’s given different reasons and it’s an international court order, so the government has to pay it and there’s a timing issue about when it chooses to.
“The longer it chooses not to, the more interest the taxpayer has to cough up,” he added.
“The UK needs to be a lot braver about challenging Iran on its hostage taking. It’s been very reluctant to do so,” Richard fumed.
More to follow…
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