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British-Iranian aid worker handed over to British team in Tehran

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By Reuters
British-Iranian aid worker handed over to British team in Tehran
British-Iranian aid worker handed over to British team in Tehran   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022

DUBAI – British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been handed over to a British team at Iran’s Imam Khomeini Airport and is leaving Iran after London paid its $530 million debt to Tehran, Iranian state media reported on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, her lawyer Hojjat Kermani told Reuters that aid worker Zaghari-Ratcliffe and another British-Iranian dual national Anousheh Ashouri were heading to Tehran airport to leave Iran.

“She (Zaghari-Ratcliffe) was handed over to the British team after being transferred to the International Imam Khomeini Airport this morning,” the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Iranian media did not say whether Ashouri had also been handed over to the British team.

Fars news agency said “The British government paid its $530 million debt to Tehran before her release”.

While the British and Iranian governments have said there is no connection between the debt and the case of Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Iranian state media in 2021 reported unidentified Iranian officials saying she would be freed once the debt was paid.

Iran’s clerical rulers say Britain owes the money that Iran’s Shah paid up front for 1,750 Chieftain tanks and other vehicles, almost none of which were eventually delivered after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 toppled the U.S.-backed leader.