This content is not available in your region

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe says her release 'should have happened six years ago'

Access to the comments Comments
By AP  with Euronews
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe speaks during a press conference hosted by her local MP Tulip Siddiq.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe speaks during a press conference hosted by her local MP Tulip Siddiq.   -   Copyright  Victoria Jones/Pool Photo via AP   -  

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has called for the release of other hostages who have been "unjustly detained" in Iran.

The British charity worker told a press conference on Monday that memories of her daughter helped sustain her through almost six years of captivity.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori returned to the UK last week amid efforts by Britain and other countries to secure the freedom of dual nationals detained by Iran.

Family members and human rights activists accuse Iran of arresting the dual nationals on fictional charges to squeeze concessions out of Western nations.

On Monday, Zaghari-Ratcliffe called for the release of fellow hostage Morad Tahbaz, who was left out of the deal that brought her home.

“I believe that the meaning of freedom is never going to be complete as to such time that all of us who are unjustly detained in Iran are reunited with our families,’’ she said.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe also criticised the fact that it had taken five British foreign ministers to secure her release.

"What has happened now should have happened six years ago," she said.

At the time Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Ashoori were freed, the British government said it had also negotiated Tahbaz’s release on furlough.

The 66-year-old would however remain in Iran while additional details were worked out, as Tahbaz holds US citizenship, as well as British and Iranian nationality.

His lawyer in Iran said on Monday that Tahbaz was never released and was only allowed to see his family in Tehran under supervision for 48 hours before returning to custody.

Watch Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's press conference in full

Iranian security forces arrested Tahbaz in January 2018, as part of a wide crackdown targeting environmental activists in the Islamic Republic.

United Nations human rights experts have pressed for Tahbaz’s release, expressing concern over his “life-threatening” health problems and exposure to COVID-19 in an overcrowded prison cell.

Tahbaz's family and international rights groups reject the charges against him.