I’m very relieved that Richard Ratcliffe’s hunger strike outside the Foreign Office highlighting the ongoing detention of his wife Nazanin in Iran has come to an end.
That she’s still detained is in no small measure due to Boris Johnson. In November 2017 as Foreign Secretary he incorrectly told a Commons Committee that she was “teaching journalism”.
This misinformation meant that three days later Zaghari-Ratcliffe was suddenly hauled before an Iranian court where Johnson’s words were taken as proof she was using propaganda against the state.
Johnson was clearly embarrassed and briefed the Telegraph that the UK would repay the £400m it had withheld for arms that had never been delivered. The Telegraph duly carried the headline “Britain preparing to transfer £400m to Iran as Johnson vows to do everything to bring Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe home”.
In doing this Johnson linked the freeing of Nazanin to the repayment. Four years on the debt has not been repaid and Nazanin remains in detention. How could any politician with an ounce of principle allow this mess of his making to continue?
However our Prime Minister is a man with no moral compass and sadly this is just one of many egregious acts that rest at his door.