Jailed aid worker Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband appeals to Iranian minister on UK visit

This file photo shows Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (R) posing for a photograph with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella (L). (AFP/Free Nazanin campaign)
Updated 21 February 2018
0

Jailed aid worker Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband appeals to Iranian minister on UK visit

LONDON: Richard Ratcliff has made a further appeal for the release of his wife, British-Iranian citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been imprisoned in Iran since April 2016.
Ratcliff delivered letters of support for his wife, a charity worker serving a five-year prison sentence in Iran, to the Iranian embassy on Wednesday morning. He is hoping they will be seen by Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi, who is visiting the UK this week.
“We’re delivering the letters today because of the opportunity of the deputy foreign minister being here,” Ratcliff told the Press Association outside the Iranian embassy in west London.
“He’s here to improve relations between Iran and the UK and we want Nazanin to be right at the front of that.”
He was joined by supporters from Amnesty International, who said they would not rest until her release.
Zaghari-Ratciffe, a project manager for Thomson Reuters Foundation says she was in Iran to visit relatives with her daughter Gabriella, who was 18 months old at the time of her mother’s arrest.
She stands accused of plotting to overthrow the Iranian regime, but many believe her incarceration is a political ploy.
UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson inflamed the situation last year when he told a parliamentary committee that Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in Iran to train journalists. He later apologized for comments that risked worsening her plight.
Iranian officials recently proposed moving Zaghari-Ratciffe and her daughter, who is currently residing with her grandparents in Iran, to a rented house under armed gaurd. Her husband has refused the offer.
“The family’s view was that this would simply be a different kind of imprisonment, and not an option for Nazanin and Gabriella.”
“We are not about to put Gabriella under armed guard,” he said in a statement.


Bahrain says conference co-hosted with US aimed at helping Palestinians

Updated 21 May 2019
0

Bahrain says conference co-hosted with US aimed at helping Palestinians

DUBAI: Bahrain said Tuesday a peace conference it is co-hosting next month with the US is aimed at helping the Palestinians, who have criticized the kingdom for failing to consult them about the event.
The conference “serves no other purpose” than to help the Palestinian people “through developing their abilities and enhancing their resources,” said Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa.
The kingdom “remains supportive of the brotherly Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate rights on their land as well as establishing an independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Bahrain’s top diplomat said in a statement.
The White House announced Sunday it would co-host the June 25-26 conference with Bahrain focusing on economic aspects of the long-delayed US peace plan, with the declared aim of achieving Palestinian prosperity.
“We were not consulted by any party on the announced meeting to take place in Manama, Bahrain,” Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement.
“We have not mandated any party to negotiate on our behalf.”
The Palestinians have boycotted the US administration since President Donald Trump broke with decades of consensus and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
They consider the eastern part of the city the capital of their future state and have shown little interest in the US peace plan, which they fear will be heavily biased in favor of Israel.
Dubbed “Peace for Prosperity,” the conference is expected to bring together leaders from several governments, civil society and the business sector.
Trump’s office said the conference was a “pivotal opportunity... to share ideas, discuss strategies, and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement.”
The Palestinians see this as offering financial rewards in exchange for accepting ongoing Israeli occupation.
“Attempts at promoting an economic normalization of the Israeli occupation of Palestine will be rejected,” Erekat said.