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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 October 2018

Theresa May to press Iran to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

British prime minister will demand that Hasan Rouhani releases the dual national woman arrested in April 2016

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving a five-year jail sentence for alleged sedition, which she denies. AFP/FREE NAZANIN CAMPAIGN
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving a five-year jail sentence for alleged sedition, which she denies. AFP/FREE NAZANIN CAMPAIGN

British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in New York on Tuesday, where she will press him to release a British-Iranian women imprisoned in Tehran, a senior government official told reporters.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation – the media organisation's philanthropic arm – was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016.

She is serving a five-year jail sentence for alleged sedition, which she denies.

During a meeting with Mr Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, "you can expect the prime minister to raise our ongoing consular cases, including that of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe", the official said.

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"The prime minister will express serious concern about Ms Nazanin's ongoing detention and call for her to be released upon humanitarian grounds."

On Wednesday, Mrs May will hold one-on-one talks with US president Donald Trump, focusing on her hopes of agreeing a trade deal after Britain leaves the European Union.

"They both have a strong commitment to securing a strong UK-US free trade agreement when we've left," the official said.

The pair will also discuss the poisoning of a Russian double agent and his daughter earlier this year in the English city of Salisbury, which London and its allies – including Washington – blamed on Moscow.

Russia has strongly denied the accusation.