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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

UK warns dual nationals against visiting Iran

The move comes in the wake of failed negotiations to release Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe 

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the UK has limited capability to help dual nationals detained in Iran - / AFP / dpa / Michael Kappeler
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the UK has limited capability to help dual nationals detained in Iran - / AFP / dpa / Michael Kappeler

The British government has warned dual-nationals against all but essential travel to Iran, in a significant tightening up of its travel guidelines, claiming that the UK’s ability to support such individuals is “extremely limited”.

A written statement from the Foreign Office read, “The Foreign Secretary [Jeremy Hunt] has taken the decision to advise against all but essential travel by UK-Iranian dual nationals to Iran.”

“British citizens who also hold Iranian nationality face risks if they travel to Iran, as we have seen all too sadly in a number of cases. The Iranian government does not recognize dual nationality so if a dual national is detained our ability to provide support is extremely limited.”

The move comes in the wake of last month's flaring of a diplomatic spat between Britain and Iran over the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a dual national detained in Iran since early 2016.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was released on temporary license in August this year, in a move which raised hopes for a permanent release, but she was later returned to prison after just a three days. She reportedly collapsed upon returning to her cell. She was accused of recruiting and training people to spread propaganda against Iran, though her family vehmently deny the charges.

Britain's Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt visited Tehran last month in an effort to secure her release.

Whilst there are no exact figures, estimates indicate that more than a dozen dual-nationals are currently languishing in Iranian jails on various charges.

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