Monday, 22 October, 2018

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Husband fears for her health

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Michael Gove Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Michael Gove"I think Boris is doing a great job as foreign secretary
Melissa Porter | 13 November, 2017, 04:36

He disclosed Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe saw a medical specialist on Saturday after finding lumps on her breasts and is "on the verge of a nervous breakdown".

It comes as another Cabinet minister, Michael Gove, was also criticised for comments about the jailed Briton.

The Foreign Secretary incorrectly stated that the woman, a charity worker and a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), was "simply teaching people journalism" in Iran when she was arrested in 2016.

Judicial authorities in Iran seized upon Mr Johnson's comment.

Last week, amid an outcry from Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband and fellow lawmakers, Johnson held a call with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in an attempt to clarify his remarks and call for her release.

The calls for Johnson's dismissal come with May facing a crisis over her Cabinet after losing two ministers this month.

On Sunday, Johnson's colleague Michael Gove, the UK Environment Minister, added yet more uncertainty during an interview with the BBC.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson during a press conference with Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray on October 19, 2017, in London.

Mr Johnson has agreed to meet Mr Ratcliffe in the next few days, the family's statement said.

The statement also said she had been prescribed medication for the lumps in her breasts after experiencing "sharp stabbing pains" for several months.

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

"Boris Johnson's cavalier approach to global diplomacy is compounded this morning by Michael Gove claiming he has no idea what Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing in Iran".

After speaking to the Foreign Secretary by phone on Sunday morning, Mr Ratcliffe said it was not in his wife's interests for her case to be hit "by more instability".

"The fault, of course, is with the Iranians, but the primary duty of all government is to protect its citizens and keep us safe, especially your Foreign Secretary".

Asked what she was doing in Iran, Mr Gove told BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show: "I don't know". "I think we make a big mistake if we think the right thing to do is to blame politicians in a democracy who are trying to do the right thing for the plight of a woman who has been imprisoned by a regime that is a serial abuser of human rights".

But Mr Johnson was offered a lifeline on Sunday from an unlikely ally - her husband.

Labour's Chris Bryant said the comments were proof of an "incompetent" Government. "He's a good foreign secretary", Brexit Minister David Davis told Sky News.

Gove urged critics to stop focusing on Johnson's role in the case and instead to question the motivation of what he called "the Iranian regime" in jailing Zaghari-Ratcliffe. "It's a Government of incompetence". Jeremy Corbyn called on Mr Johnson to go, saying he had been "putting our citizens at risk for long enough", and London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he should resign or be sacked following his "long list of gaffes" as Foreign Secretary.