STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Iran postpones court appearance of jailed woman as UK minister visits

Hopes that a British woman held in an Iranian jail accused of spying will soon be be freed rose Sunday following a vi...

Posted: Dec 11, 2017 10:38 AM
Updated: Dec 11, 2017 10:38 AM

Hopes that a British woman held in an Iranian jail accused of spying will soon be be freed rose Sunday following a visit to Tehran by the UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's court appearance scheduled for Sunday on fresh espionage charges was postponed following Johnson's discussions with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, her husband Richard Ratcliffe said in a statement.

"This is undoubtedly a good sign" Ratcliffe said.

He said Johnson met with Nazanin's parents in Tehran on Saturday night to reassure them that their daughter was a top concern, and that her case had been discussed in every meeting he held.

"This weekend we had our first ripple of freedom, with the postponement of Nazanin's new court case," Ratcliffe said.

"Of course who knows what lies ahead, the past 20 months have had plenty of false turns -- but my hope is that the ripple in the days ahead might become a full change of tide. My hope today is as Nazanin once wrote: Freedom feels one day closer, that Christmas dream remains."

Johnson, ended his trip to Iran on Sunday with no announcement on the fate of Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has duel British/Iranian nationality, has been in in jail in Iran since April 2016 on spying charges.

A statement from the British Foreign Office said the two sides had discussed "concerns about the consular cases of dual nationals."

A month ago Johnson caused a furore in the UK after he told a parliamentary committee that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in Iran to teach journalism.

"When you look at what Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing, she was simply teaching people journalism as I understand it," Johnson told the committee, adding that he found the situation "deeply depressing."

Both Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her employer have always maintained she was simply visiting family while on vacation.

The seriousness of Johnson's error became apparent days later when Zaghari-Ratcliffe was summoned to an unscheduled court hearing at which the foreign secretary's remarks were cited as proof she had engaged in "propaganda against the regime."

Her family fears the five-year sentence she was given on espionage charges could be lengthened.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained at the airport in Tehran in April 2016 on her way back to the UK from visiting family with her daughter Gabriella, then 22 months old. The child has since been looked after by her maternal grandparents.

Last September, in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Rouhani said he had his own "sensitivities" regarding the case, but underlined the separation of the judiciary and executive in the Iranian constitution.

During his visit to Iran, which had been scheduled for more than a year, Johnson also met with the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

It was the first visit by a UK foreign secretary to Iran since 2015.

Nuclear agreement

"During nearly an hour of talks with President Rouhani, both spoke forthrightly about the obstacles in the relationship and agreed on the need to make progress in all areas," the Foreign Office statement said.

"It has been a worthwhile visit and we leave with a sense that both sides want to keep up the momentum to resolve the difficult issues in the bilateral relationship and preserve the nuclear deal," the Foreign Office said.

The UK stands with the rest of the European Union in wanting to preserve a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran that US President Donald Trump has walked away from.

'We are committed to our deals, we are Muslim, we are Iranians, we have a great culture,' President Rouhani told the Iranian Parliament on Sunday, according to the state news agency IRNA.

'However, if they want to violate it, Iran will not be worried, as it has envisaged other plans,' Rouhani was reported as saying.

Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for economic sanctions relief.

UK stance on nuclear deal criticized

However, according to IRNA, the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, who also met with Johnson, criticized the UK's adherence to the agreement.

"The post-JCPOA economic cooperation between Iran and the UK is not satisfactory at the moment,' IRNA reported Shamkhani as telling Johnson.

"Facilitating banking ties can be a prelude to developing cooperation,' IRNA quoted Boris as saying.

In his meeting with Shamkhani on Saturday, Johnson reiterated the UK's opposition to Trump's decision to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"The UK has made no choice to relocate its embassy to al-Quds," IRNA reported Johnson as saying. Al Quds is the Arabic word for Jerusalem.

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 68°
Florence
Scattered Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 70°
Fayetteville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 70°
Decatur
Few Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 67°
Scottsboro
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 64°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18630

Reported Deaths: 646
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2271118
Jefferson1859103
Montgomery175843
Tuscaloosa79916
Marshall7009
Franklin5628
Lee55033
Shelby52220
Tallapoosa42765
Butler41418
Unassigned3842
Walker3702
Elmore3628
Chambers35825
Madison3434
Baldwin2929
Morgan2871
Dallas2793
Etowah26012
Lowndes25212
DeKalb2493
Coffee2381
Autauga2335
Sumter2247
Houston2214
Bullock2096
Pike2060
Colbert1862
Russell1750
Hale1759
Barbour1721
Marengo1716
Lauderdale1662
Calhoun1643
Choctaw15310
Wilcox1507
Cullman1471
Clarke1462
St. Clair1281
Randolph1277
Dale1220
Marion12211
Pickens1184
Talladega1175
Limestone1080
Chilton1031
Greene954
Winston900
Macon854
Covington811
Jackson812
Henry802
Bibb761
Crenshaw753
Escambia723
Washington716
Blount631
Lawrence500
Monroe432
Geneva430
Perry420
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar260
Fayette160
Cleburne151

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 22566

Reported Deaths: 364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Davidson504062
Shelby4943111
Trousdale13924
Rutherford119623
Sumner88145
Hamilton79415
Bledsoe6071
Williamson55210
Putnam4795
Robertson4653
Tipton4423
Out of TN4184
Lake4140
Wilson4078
Knox3755
Bedford2834
Montgomery2693
Rhea2100
Hardeman1960
Madison1752
Loudon1430
McMinn14114
Macon1363
Cheatham1230
Bradley1221
Fayette1152
Cumberland1121
Dickson1090
Unassigned920
Blount913
Maury890
Sevier812
Washington750
Coffee730
Wayne640
Gibson631
Monroe622
Sullivan602
Hickman580
Lauderdale561
Franklin531
Greene502
Dyer500
Marion401
Anderson401
DeKalb370
Hamblen362
Smith341
White330
Hawkins332
Lawrence310
Grundy311
Haywood312
Marshall311
Obion301
Henry300
Jefferson280
Carroll271
Overton260
Meigs260
Weakley260
Lincoln250
Warren230
Cannon210
Perry210
Cocke200
Carter191
Campbell181
Morgan170
Jackson170
Crockett162
Roane160
Polk160
Johnson160
Henderson150
Hardin152
Sequatchie150
Humphreys131
Fentress120
McNairy120
Chester120
Giles120
Scott120
Stewart110
Claiborne90
Houston80
Grainger80
Clay70
Benton71
Decatur50
Unicoi40
Union40
Van Buren40
Lewis30
Pickett30
Moore30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events