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by Staff reporter
17 March 2022
Home at last: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe returns to the UK

Home at last: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe returns to the UK

British-Iranian nationals Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori have finally been reunited with their families in the UK after years of detention in Iran.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 43, and Ashoori, 67, left Tehran on Wednesday following months of negotiations to secure their release, and touched down at RAF Brize Norton in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was met on by her daughter Gabriella, 7, who she has not seen in years.

The release of the captives followed the settling of an almost £400m debt dating back to the 1970s, which Britain had refused to pay following the 1979 Iranian revolution.

A third detainee Morad Tahbaz, who has Iranian, UK and US nationality, remains in Iran although he was released from prison. 

Speaking before his wife's return to the UK, Richard Ratcliffe said he was "deeply grateful" for his wife's release and that it would be the "beginning of a new life" for their family.

In a statement, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: "Their release is the result of years of hard work and dedication by our brilliant diplomats, and intensive efforts over the past six months. I pay tribute to my predecessors and the prime minister, who have all worked hard to resolve this issue.

"We have the deepest admiration for the resolve, courage and determination Nazanin, Anoosheh and Morad, and their families, have shown. They have faced hardship that no family should ever experience and this is a moment of great relief."

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