TEHRAN: Nazanin Zaqari’s lawyers said that her British passport has been delivered to her, but the exact date for her departure from Iran is not clear yet.
Hojjat Jermani said on Tuesday evening that he hoped Zaqari be soon permitted to leave Iran, reiterating that her imprisonment term for one of her files had ended in March, 2021.
Some western media started disseminating reports as of Tuesday morning to link Zaqari’s freedom to the progress achieved in Iran-Britain negotiations on clearing Britain’s old debt of 400-million-pound debt to Iran.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh had already emphasized that the British debt to Iran was fixed and definite which would even increase bypass of time because of the British government’s delay in repaying it.
Many British officials, including the Conservative Party politician Tobias Martin Ellwood, believe the UK’s delay in paying £400m debt to the Islamic Republic of Iran has made it difficult to resolve disputes over consular issues and the 2015 nuclear deal.
They reiterated remarks made by Jeremy Hunt, former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, who underlined that paying 400 million pounds to Iran is not a kind of ransom, because the British government accepted the repayment; so, humanitarian channels can be used to dodge anti-Iran sanctions and settle the debt.
Britain owes as much as £400m to Iran arising from the non-delivery of 1,500 Chieftain Tanks and 250 other armored vehicles ordered by the then Shah of Iran before his overthrow in 1979.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested at the airport upon leaving Tehran in April 2016 on security charges. She was sentenced to five years in jail afterward on charges of espionage.