British mum jailed in Iran ‘on verge of nervous breakdown’
A British mum jailed in Iran is ‘on the verge of a breakdown’, her husband Richard Ratcliffe revealed today.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has this week seen a medical specialist after finding lumps on her breasts.
The mother-of-one has also ‘expressed anger’ at Boris Johnson over the ‘shambles’ her case has become – but her family said they do not believe the Foreign Secretary should quit.
Mr Ratcliffe said he spoke to Mr Johnson for about 20 minutes this morning, during which the Cabinet minister said he was ‘deeply sorry for Nazanin’s suffering’.
He added that the Foreign Secretary ‘undertook to look seriously at the prospect’ of allowing him to join his planned visit to Iran in the coming weeks.
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a 38-year-old mother of one, has suffered severe physical and mental trauma since being arrested as she tried to leave Tehran last year with her daughter Gabriella following a holiday.
The charity worker was accused of plotting to topple the regime, which she denies, and later sentenced to five years in prison.
On Saturday Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was taken to Iranmehr hospital, Tehran, to see a specialist for an ultrasound on her breasts.
New lumps have been found and she has complained of sharp stabbing pains in her breasts for some months, Mr Ratcliffe said.
It follows a previous inconclusive mammogram.
The consultant said the lumps were likely to be benign but her family history of breast cancer, along with the pain, meant she should be kept under ‘close surveillance’.
Mr Ratcliffe said she again suggested she was on ‘the verge of a nervous breakdown’ and had been ‘brought to tears’ at the ‘lies’ being shown on Iranian television about her case.
Last week, Boris Johnson apologised about comments he made about the woman imprisoned in Iran.
He told the parliamentary committee on November 1: ‘When I look at what Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing, she was simply teaching people journalism, as I understand it, at the very limit.’
The comments were seized on as new evidence by Iranian authorities.
Nazanin was summoned before a court on Saturday to be told she was now facing allegations of ‘propaganda against the state’.
Today, Environment Secretary Michael Gove came under fire after appearing to cast doubt over her actions.
Asked what she was doing in Iran, Mr Gove told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: ‘I don’t know.
‘One of the things I want to stress is, there is no reason why Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe should be in prison in Iran, so far as any of us know.’
Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett said Theresa May must ensure Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ‘does not pay the price for her ‘ministers’ bungling’.
‘Boris Johnson’s cavalier approach to international diplomacy is compounded this morning by Michael Gove claiming he has no idea what Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing in Iran. It has always been clear, she was on holiday visiting her family,’ he said.Let's