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Zaghari-Ratcliff summoned again to court as five-year sentence in Tehran ends

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By Euronews with AP, AFP
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Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of detained Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, seen in poster, outside the Iranian Embassy in London, Saturday June 29, 2019
Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of detained Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, seen in poster, outside the Iranian Embassy in London, Saturday June 29, 2019   -   Copyright  Jonathan Brady/AP
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British-Iranian citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe had her ankle tag removed on Sunday after serving a five-year prison sentence in Iran, her lawyer Hodjat Kermani said, but it remains unclear whether she can leave the country.

"She must be allowed to return to the UK as soon as possible to be reunited with her family," said UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Sunday.

Iran accuses Zaghari-Ratcliffe of plotting to overthrow the government but her family says she was in Iran to visit family, denying that she was plotting against Iran.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been summoned again to court next Sunday, said British MP Tulip Siddiq after speaking to her family.

Last autumn, Iranian state TV abruptly announced a new indictment against Zaghari-Ratcliffe, but the trial was indefinitely adjourned. Iran's state-run IRNA news agency reported the new charges include "spreading propaganda against the system."

"It feels to me like they have made one blockage just as they have removed another, and we very clearly remain in the middle of this government game of chess,'' her husband Richard Ratcliffe said.

The twists and turns of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's years-long case have sparked international outrage and strained already fraught diplomatic ties between Britain and Iran

House arrest

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was able to remove her ankle bracelet for the first time since she was released from prison on furlough last March because of the surging coronavirus pandemic, her lawyer said.

She has been under house arrest at her parent's home in Tehran since.

Hodjat Kermani, Zaghari-Ratcliffe's lawyer, said that she had officially ended her house arrest and was allowed to remove her ankle bracelet.

However, he said, "the situation of her leaving the country is not clear yet."

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested during a holiday with her toddler daughter in April 2016.

She worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news agency.