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British mother is ‘on the verge of a nervous breakdown’

  • Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was visiting her family when she was arrested in Iran
  • She was jailed and her husband Richard said she is on the verge of a breakdown
  • He revealed she has found new lumps in her breasts and is 'losing her temper'
  • But despite her anger over 'shambles' family believe Boris Johnson shouldn't quit
  • Her husband said: ‘It is not in Nazanin’s interests for there to be any resignations'

By Abe Hawken For Mailonline and Kate Ferguson For Mailonline

Published: 13:37 EST, 12 November 2017 | Updated: 02:24 EST, 13 November 2017

The husband of a British mother imprisoned in Iran last night revealed she is ‘angry’ at Boris Johnson’s handling of the case – but insisted he should not be forced to resign.

Richard Ratcliffe said his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 38, was ‘on the verge of a nervous breakdown’ and angry at the Foreign Secretary for allowing the situation to become ‘a shambles’.

He said her mood was ‘uncontrollable’ and revealed that she had experienced pain in her breasts and been taken to hospital for an ultrasound, which found lumps.

The mother-of-one has a family history of breast cancer and a former cellmate described seeing her hair falling out in ‘huge clumps’.

Boris Johnson has faced calls to resign for suggesting last week that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was training journalists in Iran – comments which could lead to her jail sentence being increased.

Her husband said yesterday he had a 'positive' phone call with Boris Johnson and added he should not resign despite him telling MPs she was in the country training journalists – a gaffe which could see her have her sentence doubled.

He said: 'I do not believe it is in Nazanin's interests for there to be any resignations'.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was visiting her parents in Iran with her young daughter Gabriella when she was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard in Tehran Airport

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was visiting her parents in Iran with her young daughter Gabriella when she was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard in Tehran Airport

Michael Gove said he was not sure what Nazanin Zaghari-Ratclife was doing in Iran before she was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard on suspicion of espionageMichael Gove said he was not sure what Nazanin Zaghari-Ratclife was doing in Iran before she was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard on suspicion of espionage

Michael Gove said he was not sure what Nazanin Zaghari-Ratclife was doing in Iran before she was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard on suspicion of espionage

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 38, was seen by a specialist in Tehran on Saturday. The consultant said he thought the lumps were likely to be benign but added that some cancers were linked to stress, her husband said.

Her husband said he wanted him to keep his job because if he left it would cause instability which could damage his wife's case.

CORBYN CALLS FOR BORIS TO BE SACKED OVER IRAN BLUNDER

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, pictured today, has called for Boris Johnson to be sacked over the comments Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, pictured today, has called for Boris Johnson to be sacked over the comments 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, pictured today, has called for Boris Johnson to be sacked over the comments

Jeremy Corbyn is calling for Boris Johnson to be sacked from his post immediately as Foreign Secretary for 'putting citizens at risk'.

The Labour leader has launched a scathing attack on the former Mayor of London and is demanding the Prime Minister fire him with immediate effect.

This comes after Johnson made what has been described as an 'epic blunder' in the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British woman currently imprisoned in Iran.

Mr Corbyn has added to the growing pressure May faces in dealing with Johnson, as members of his own party say his position should be reconsidered.

He said: 'We've put up with Johnson embarrassing and undermining our country with his incompetence and colonial throwback views and putting our citizens at risk for long enough. It's time for him to go.'

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also called for Mr Johnson to go over the blunder.

It comes as Michael Gove risked fuelling the problems for her by saying he does not know why she was in the country before her arrest.

Her husband said: 'New lumps had been identified in each of her breasts.

'Nazanin has been complaining of sharp stabbing pains in her breasts for some months – her breasts have been painful since month five of her detention.

'She had previously had been given an inconclusive mammography by the in-prison gynaecologist.'

He added: 'Nazanin notes that since her court appearance, she has been very angry for a number of days.

'Her mood has become uncontrollable. She loses her temper over the smallest things.

'Everything annoys her, but is unable to see why she gets so cross. Quick to feel like others are ganging up.

'She noted that she is very down, that she cannot handle all this. It is too much pressure, as she becomes part of hostile daily news.

'Nazanin reports feeling continually restless and out of focus, unable to concentrate on things like reading.

'This weekend she again suggested she is on the verge of a nervous breakdown – a perpetual sense of not knowing what to do.'

Mr Zaghari-Ratcliffe added: 'As her husband, my complaint is not that Nazanin's imprisonment has become a diplomatic incident this past week. It is that it wasn't for the 19 months before. I thank everyone for their part in making that shift.'

Mr Johnson's comments were seized upon by the Iranian judiciary who hailed her back before the court to face fresh propaganda charges and another five years behind bars.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is pictured with her husband Richard who is desperate to see her back home with their three-year-old for Christmas Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is pictured with her husband Richard who is desperate to see her back home with their three-year-old for Christmas 

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is pictured with her husband Richard who is desperate to see her back home with their three-year-old for Christmas

The 38-year-old from London is pictured with her husband Richard and their now three-year-old daughter Gabriella The 38-year-old from London is pictured with her husband Richard and their now three-year-old daughter Gabriella 

The 38-year-old from London is pictured with her husband Richard and their now three-year-old daughter Gabriella

The mother-of-one, 38, 'expressed anger' at Mr Johnson over the 'shambles' her case has become but her family said they do not believe the Foreign Secretary should quit.

Asked today what the British mother-of-one was doing in Iran, Environment Secretary Mr Gove said: 'I don't know.'

The remark risks casting doubt over the British mother-of-one's account of her time in Iran – even though the official Foreign Office position is she was visiting her family.

Mr Gove also defended his Cabinet colleague Boris Johnson, who is facing growing calls to be sacked as Foreign Secretary over his potentially costly gaffe.

It comes as Mr Johnson finally spoke to Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband today and agreed to meet with him either this week or next.

Jon Trickett MP, Labour's shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, said: '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.

Tory MP for Broxstowe, Anna Soubry, branded Mr Gove's comments a 'deeply concerning and irresponsible response'.

Mr Gove insisted Mr Johnson should not be ousted and suggested calls for him to go are a distraction from those who should be blamed for Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe's ordeal – the Iranians.

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: 'We know that the Iranian regime is capable of abusing the human rights of its own citizens.

'It appears here to be harming the human rights of someone whose plight necessarily moves us all.'

Gabriella (pictured with her mother) has been staying with her grandparents in Iran while her mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is incarcerated and fighting spy charges Gabriella (pictured with her mother) has been staying with her grandparents in Iran while her mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is incarcerated and fighting spy charges 

The 38-year-old from London is pictured with her husband Richard and their now three-year-old daughter Gabriella

Told that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her husband Richard insist she was in Iran with her young daughter Gabriella to visit her parents, Mr Gove said: 'In that case I take exactly her husband's assurance in that regard.'

Asked if he thought she was training journalists, he said: 'Well, her husband says that she was there on holiday, and he's the person who should know.

'Her family should be the people who are in our thoughts at this time.'

He said criticism of Mr Johnson was part of an 'effort to shift the blame away from those who are really at fault here, and that is the Iranian regime'.

And he refused to say the Foreign Secretary should apologise for his blunder.

He added: 'There is nothing the Iranian regime would like more than for the blame to be shifted from them onto us.

'And I think we make a big mistake if we blame politicians in a democracy who are trying to do the right thing for the plight of a woman who is being imprisoned by a regime that is a serial abuser of human rights.

'Who's in the dock here? Iran.'

He added: 'If the Iranian judiciary wants to use the words of a democrat in order to justify an unjustifiable decision, it is our responsibility to call them out.

'Whatever we as democrats say is going to be seized upon by extremists for their own purposes – and we play their game if we point the finger at democrats who are trying to do the right thing.'

Tory MP Anna Soubry joined in the condemnation of Michael Gove's comments branding them 'concerning and irresponsible'Tory MP Anna Soubry joined in the condemnation of Michael Gove's comments branding them 'concerning and irresponsible'

Tory MP Anna Soubry joined in the condemnation of Michael Gove's comments branding them 'concerning and irresponsible'

Michael GoveMichael GoveBoris JohnsonBoris Johnson

Michael Gove rallied to the defence of his Cabinet colleague Boris Johnson, saying calls for him to be sacked over his blunder – which could cost Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe another five years in person – is a distraction form the real villains in the saga – the Iranians

'It appears Gove is more interested in protecting Johnson's job than the liberty of a British citizen in jail in Iran.

'Theresa May must ensure Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe does not pay the price for her ministers' bungling.'

Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have both called for Mr Johnson to be sacked over comments.

Speaking this morning, Mr Khan said: 'I think he has got to go.

'If Theresa May was a stronger Prime Minster she would have sacked him a long time ago.'

Mr Corbyn said: 'We've put up with Johnson embarrassing and undermining our country with his incompetence and colonial throwback views and putting our citizens at risk for long enough. It's time for him to go.'

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband Richard has demanded that Mr Johnson 'get on a plane' to meet his wife after his blunder.

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