Iran releases 2 British nationals detained for years
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anousheh Ashouri, two British-Iranian dual nationals, arrived in the U.K. on Thursday, after being released from Iran following years in detention.
Why it matters: Their release comes amid reports that an agreement to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal could be close.
- Iranian state media said the U.K. had "settled a long-overdue debt of $530 million to Tehran," presumably for tanks ordered before the 1979 Islamic Revolution that were never delivered, per AP.
- Tulip Siddiq, a British member of Parliament, tweeted a photo of her constituent Zaghari-Ratcliffe being reunited with her husband and daughter, who was 22 months old when her mother was detained. "Richard, Nazanin and Gabriella finally reunited after 6 long years," she wrote.
Details: Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was given back her passport over the weekend, raising hopes that she'd be able to leave the country.
- In 2019, Ashouri was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of spying and two years for "acquiring illegitimate wealth," per Reuters.
What they're saying: "I am very pleased to confirm that the unfair detention of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori in Iran has ended today, and they will now return to the UK," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a Twitter post announcing their return on Wednesday.
- "The UK has worked intensively to secure their release and I am delighted they will be reunited with their families and loved ones," he added.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.