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Tehran Denies 'Swap Deal' with London

Tehran Denies 'Swap Deal' with London

Saturday, 23 December, 2017 - 09:15
Iranian-British aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is seen with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and her daughter Gabriella in an undated photograph handed out by her family. Ratcliffe Family Handout via REUTERS

Iranian Justice Ministry confirmed on Friday that the authorities had opened a new case against British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was sentenced to five years, and denied the possibility of releasing her any soon.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in April 2016 and convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment, a charge denied by her family and the foundating, according to Reuters.

“Iran’s judiciary cannot confirm any of the claims in Western media about this case,” Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency on Friday quoted Gholamhossein Esmaili, the head of the justice department in Tehran province, as saying.

“When a decision is made, it will be announced by the Republic’s judiciary or through diplomatic channels.”

Tasnim said Esmaili also dismissed reports of a swap deal, but did not make clear which reports he was referring to.

“Besides serving her current sentence, she has also another ongoing case against her in court," Esmaili was quoted as saying.

Esmaili comments are the first by a Justice Ministry official to confirm another case against Ratcliffe.

Her family said in October that the second case carried charges that could bring mean another 16 years in prison, including joining and receiving money from organizations working to overthrow the Republic and attending a demonstration outside the Iranian Embassy in London.

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