Iran Daily: Tehran Rejects UK’s Criticism of 5-Year Sentence for Anglo-Iranian Charity Worker

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her daughter Gabriella

PHOTO: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her daughter Gabrielle


Iran has rejected Britain’s criticism of the five-year sentence imposed on Anglo-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said on Wednesday that remarks by a UK Foreign Office minister were “incorrect” and “interventionist”, damaging relations between Tehran and London.

The FCO’s Joyce Anelay challenged the detention of Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, after the Iranian judiciary reconfirmed the five-year prison term last weekend.

See Iran Daily, Jan 24: 5-Year Sentence Confirmed on Anglo-Iranian Charity Worker

After the judiciary’s announcement, the FCO’s Deputy Minister for Middle Eastern affairs, Tobias Ellwood, said he had contacted Iranian officials during a visit to Tehran on January 18:

Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her two-year-old daughter Gabrielle were seized in April at the airport as they were returning to the UK after a visit to relatives. The charity worker was sentenced in September. There was no public notice of the charges, although Iranian media said they related to the endangerment of national security.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s daughter, whose passport was taken, remains with her grandmother in Tehran.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qassemi would not even refer to Zaghari-Ratcliffe by name in his statement, saying, “The Judiciary, as an independent branch of government sets crimes and offenses worthy of investigation based on its own legal evidence.”

The Revolutionary Guards have detained a series of dual nationals since last autumn, in a crackdown which appears to be a challenge to the Rouhani Government as well as a maneuver versus Iran’s supposed foes.

Among those given lengthy prison terms are Iranian-American oil executive Siamak Namazi and his 80-year-old father Baquer, a Canadian-Iranian who is a former UNESCO official; Lebanese-Iranian activist Nazar Zaha, a US resident; and Iranian-American student Robin Shahini.

In July, Iranian-American dual national Karan Vafadari and his wife Afarin Neyssari, who run an art gallery in Tehran, were detained without charge and held in Evin Prison without access to lawyers.

Iran’s Oil Exports to Europe Hit 5-Year High

Europe will receive a five-year high of Iranian crude oil this month.

Arrivals on supertankers will reach 622,581 barrels per day in January, the largest amount since at least November 2011, according to ship-tracking and European Union data. Two Iranian supertankers — Huge and Snow — are en route, bringing about 4 million barrels between them.

Since the implementation of the nuclear deal in January 2016, Iran has resumed oil shipments to Europe amid the lifting of sweeping sanctions imposed in mid-2012. Tehran’s oil exports have increased by about 40% to around 2 million barrels per day.

Tehran was exempted from a cut in oil production agreed by OPEC members in early December.

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  1. Any Judiciary having “its own legal evidence” obviously needs nothing more. It sounds a bit like the Star Chamber of Gitmo, wherein the imposed legal ‘representative’ is barred from sharing the evidence with the kidnapped ‘client’ due to Murrikan National Security in HarmSway, or whatever tortured excuse of the day.

    • So we can agree that both Guantanamo and the Iranian judicial system are in violation of international human rights law.

      • No, as ‘international human rights law’ is in fact a theory of what some think should be the law [to be imposed by imperialist brigands exclusively upon less well-armed competitors], but not actual agreed-upon, international law with impartial enforcement mechanisms.
        Further, the difference in degree is significant — Gitmo is part of an systematic effort to overturn/destroy international law by the warcriminal régime which historically has spent most time pouring hot salty crocodile-tears over it, whereas the IRI government has never been noted for its adherence to domestic law in general.

        • International human rights law — through conventions such as Geneva and international institutions such as the ICC — is not a theory.

          (Although that is an excuse used by those who wish to justify their breaking of the law)

          • The Geneva Conventions can hardly apply to the Zaghari-Ratcliffe case, as that is a sovereign exercise in Iran’s highly flexible [being a hybrid of written and revolutionary] domestic law. Neither has IRI [or Yankistan] submitted itself to the jurisdiction of the ICC.
            But don’t get me wrong — the Islamic Republic is still young and I’m fairly confident that, given a few hundred years of additional jurisprudence and the lucre of several colonies abroad to plunder, they will also work out any kinks in the system.

            • Ah, but this is far different from your inaccurate claim that international human rights law is just a theory — which is why Iran is so concerned about the UN Human Rights Council and the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights.

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