British-Iranian Woman Temporarily Released From Iran Jail

Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe is reunited with her daughter after being granted a temporary release from prison

A British-Iranian charity worker detained in an Iranian prison on espionage charges since 2016 has been temporarily released, Iran's ambassador in London said.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe hugs her daughter Gabriella, in Iran.

Husband Richard Ratcliffe welcomed the "good step" after 873 days in jail for his wife, saying: "Despite the build-up, today was a genuine surprise after all the disappointments".

Mr Ratcliffe said said: 'The Free Nazanin campaign is very pleased to confirm that Nazanin was released from Evin prison on furlough this morning.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe is not under house arrest but has been prohibited from giving interviews, leaving the country, or visiting the United Kingdom embassy in Iran as conditions of her furlough.

Hunt - who recently replaced Boris Johnson, who resigned over the government's faltering Brexit plans - tweeted about the "good news", but stressed that her release should be permanent: "Really good news that Nazanin has been released on furlough, credit to tireless campaigning by husband Richard and her friends". She has friends in both Iran and the United Kingdom and frankly every day that she is in prison is a reminder to the whole world of a gross injustice.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was not allowed to call her family and had to borrow a phone from someone outside the prison to call her brother, who lives in Tehran, to pick her up.

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The British-Iranian mother was released from Evin jail in Tehran on Thursday and is staying with family outside the capital until Sunday.

United Kingdom foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt responded to the news from NY, where he's visiting the UN.

The Free Nazanin campaign said she was told on Thursday she had just 10 minutes to get ready because she was being released.

"We must keep up the pressure on Iran by demanding her freedom", a tweet by the rights watchdog read. Although Johnson later corrected himself, Iranian state television highlighted his comments as justification for imprisoning her.

"Nazanin has a number of cellmates who were released initially for three days, but who are still on furlough over a month later", the campaign statement said.

So when two weeks ago she was told to make preparations, she had limited faith that this time would be different.

On a visit to Edinburgh, Mr Ratcliffe said he expects to hear on Saturday whether an application to extend the three days' leave will be granted.

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