Britain preparing to transfer 400 million pounds to Iran

UK 'may transfer £400m to Iran' in goodwill measure to get jailed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe released

UK 'may transfer £400m to Iran' in goodwill measure to get jailed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe released

Britain is reportedly looking to pay approximately $600 million to Iran, settling a decades-old debt, in an apparent bid to secure the release of an Iranian-British woman being held in the Islamic Republic on espionage charges.

She is now serving a five-year jail sentence for alleged sedition, and has been threatened with further charges and a new trial that could double her sentence.

British media have said that she worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The debt is related to an arms deal signed during the 1970s, with the paper saying that Britain had sought legal advice about the transfer of money to Iran. It operates independently of Reuters News.

Reports in British media speculated that Zaghari-Ratcliffe is being held by Iran as collateral for the unpaid debt, but officials quickly denied the two issues were linked.

The money is part of a payment of £650 million made by Iran in the 1970s to buy 1,500 Chieftain tanks from Britain and fix 250 more.

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"But Iran, particularly the Revolutionary Guard, will want something in return for her release, and payment of this debt could be it".

At the time of the ruling Britain vowed to "comply with United Kingdom and global law" but sanctions on Iran meant the money could not be directly transfer the money at the time.

Tehran had paid £650 million up front, but the United Kingdom declined to return the money when the deal fell through.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband, Richard Ratcliffe, met with Johnson on Tuesday and asked him to secure him a safe passage to Iran. "It is important that the United Kingdom honors its worldwide legal obligations, so that Iran can honor its legal obligations", Ratcliffe told the Sun.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has reservations about granting diplomatic protection to an Iranian-British aid worker jailed in Iran, her husband said on Wednesday.

"The foreign secretary concluded the meeting by saying that no stone would be left unturned in the case of Mrs. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and that of our other dual nationals detained in Iran", the Foreign Office said in a statement.

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