Iran curbs jailed British-Iranian aid worker's family contacts-BBC

Iranian-British aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is seen with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and her daughter Gabriella in an undated photograph handed out by her family. (Reuters)
Updated 20 August 2019

Iran curbs jailed British-Iranian aid worker's family contacts-BBC

  • Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain with her daughter

DUBAI: Iranian authorities have restricted British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's contacts with her daughter to once a month and banned her from calling her husband, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
"Richard Ratcliffe said new rules mean she cannot make international calls to him in London - and can only see their five-year-old daughter once a month," the BBC said on its website.
Britain's Guardian newspaper said Zaghari-Ratcliffe could previously see her daughter, who lives with her grandparents in Iran, every few days in prison.
There was no immediate Iranian report or comment on the case.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit, and was subsequently sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran's clerical establishment.
Her family and a charity organisation defending her, which operates independently of Thomson Reuters and Reuters News, deny the charge.
Ratcliffe said his wife was returned to prison on Saturday after being discharged from hospital, following a hunger strike, according to the BBC.


East Mediterranean states formally establish Egypt-based gas forum

Updated 22 September 2020

East Mediterranean states formally establish Egypt-based gas forum

  • Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Jordan established the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) as an intergovernmental organization in a virtual ceremony hosted by Cairo
  • The group unites regional rivals of Turkey, which has been locked in a bitter dispute with European Union members Greece and Cyprus over gas drilling rights in the region

CAIRO: Six states signed a charter for an Egypt-based energy forum on Tuesday, giving formal status to a group that seeks to promote natural gas exports from the eastern Mediterranean and that Israel hopes will strengthen ties with Arab neighbors.
Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Jordan established the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) as an intergovernmental organization in a virtual ceremony hosted by Cairo.
The group unites regional rivals of Turkey, which has been locked in a bitter dispute with European Union members Greece and Cyprus over gas drilling rights in the region.
The Palestinian Authority is also part of the forum, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a statement.
France has applied to join, with the United States and European Union requesting observer status.
For Israel, the forum “brings regional cooperation with Arab and European countries, the first of its kind in history, with contracts to export (Israeli) gas to Jordan and Egypt worth $30 billion, and that is just the beginning,” added Steinitz.
Egypt began importing Israeli gas at the start of this year, for possible re-export to Europe or Asia.
The 2015 discovery of the giant offshore Zohr field had unlocked interest in Egypt’s energy market and encouraged Cairo to promote itself as a regional hub.
However, regional politics, infrastructure and transport costs, and rivalry between Turkey and eastern Mediterranean neighbors, complicate prospects for exploiting and transporting gas from the region.