Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman imprisoned in Iran, is being held because Britain is refusing to pay an arms deal debt from almost 40 years ago, her husband has claimed.
Richard Ratcliffe says the UK owes Iran a debt of £500 million in relation to Chieftain tanks, which were paid for up front but never delivered.
“The deal was done through an arm’s length MOD company called ‘International Military Services Ltd.’ We have spent almost 40 years finding ways not to pay the Iranians back.
“Iran tried various diplomatic routes before in the end taking the UK to the International Court of Arbitration. After lots of appeals and counter appeals, Iran won back in 2010.
“But still it has not been paid. As the negotiations have gone on, they have become increasingly angry, and increasingly willing to signal it [by holding Nazanin as collateral].”
Last week, Nazanin went on hunger strike – “the only card she has to play,” said Richard.
You can read more about the case, and sign the online petition, here.