LONDON: The daughter of an Iranian-British-American tri-national imprisoned in Iran has accused the UK government of ignoring her family’s case after delivering a Father’s Day message to the UK Foreign Office.
Roxanne Tahbaz visited the Foreign Office to demand further information about the case of her father, 66-year-old Morad Tahbaz, who has been imprisoned by Tehran for more than four years.
She claimed that her appeal was transferred to an official, who said that they would pass on her message.
She said: “It was incredibly dispiriting. Father’s Day is the hardest day of all. While every day is challenging, special moments like holidays and birthdays are especially difficult for me and my siblings.
“Our father has been unjustly jailed in Iran for nearly four-and-a-half years, but (UK foreign secretary) Liz Truss and the government still haven’t informed us what they’re doing to secure his release.”
Roxanne Tahbaz said that the Foreign Office is offering token gestures in an attempt to delay her appeals.
“There doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency — nothing to suggest the foreign secretary and her office feel they need to get my father out of prison immediately,” she added.
“On Thursday, Amnesty accompanied me as I took a Father’s Day card and gift to the Foreign Office. To our dismay, neither the foreign secretary nor a minister would meet us. Instead we were greeted by another member of their team who said they’d pass on our concerns.
“It feels like the government continually attempts to placate us with pleasantries and false promises.”
The Foreign Office is said to be communicating with Morad Tahbaz’s sister-in-law as well as his wife.
In March, the UK government reached a deal with Iran to secure Morad Tahbaz’s furlough, as well as the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori.
That deal involved negotiations over a decades-old military debt totaling almost $500 million owed by the UK to Iran.
Just after being granted furlough, however, Tahbaz — a prominent conservationist who was arrested during a 2018 crackdown — was forced to return to prison.
Roxanne Tahbaz has long campaigned for her father’s release, and has repeatedly claimed that the UK Foreign Office has ignored her requests for help.
After a demonstration in April, she said: “We want them to follow through on the promise they made to us.
“We were always led to believe over the past four years that he was to be a part of any deal they were making, and we were led to believe he’d be coming home as part of that.”