UK hands Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 8, 2019 - Duration: 01:22s

UK hands Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection

Britain will hand diplomatic protection to British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to underline the government's belief that Iran has behaved unjustly in its treatment of her, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Thursday.

Saskia O'Donoghue reports

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UK hands Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection

A British-Iranian aid worker jailed in Iran will be handed diplomatic protection by the UK.

Britain says the move underlines their belief that Iran has behaved unjustly in its treatment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt admitted that although the move is unlikely to be a, quote, "magic wand," it may help Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case.

Iran fought back, with the country's ambassador to Britain saying on Twitter that it "contravenes international law." Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who worked with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in April 2016 in Tehran as she headed back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit.

She was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran's clerical establishment.

That charge was denied by her family and the Foundation.

Diplomatic protection is a very rarely used mechanism under international law through which a state may seek reparation for injury to one of its nationals on the basis that the second state has committed an internationally wrongful act against that person.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe is dually British and Iranian - and Iran say they don't recognise dual nationality, claiming she remains purely Iranian and that the UK government is, quote, 'acutely aware' of their policy.

Jeremy Hunt accused Iran of using her as a pawn for diplomatic leverage, calling on them to release her.

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