Johnson to raise jailed Briton Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case in Iran trip

STEFAN ROUSSEAU via Getty Images                   Richard Ratcliffe met Johnson last month

Boris Johnson will travel to Iran this weekend in a bid to secure the release of a British mother who has been held in prison for almost two years.

The Foreign Secretary was widely criticised after incorrectly telling a parliamentary committee that she had been training journalists in Iran, later acknowledging that this was not the case.

The British-Iranian mother has been imprisoned in the country's capital, Tehran, for nearly two years after being arrested during a family holiday.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe is due to make a fresh court appearance in court on Sunday that could see her five-year sentence extended by as much as 10 years.

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Zaghari-Ratcliffe's fate become a major political issue in Britain after Johnson made remarks on November 1 that appeared to cast doubt on statements from her employer about what she had been doing in Iran.

The visit would mark Mr Johnson's first to Iran since taking over as Foreign Secretary past year.

Sky's diplomatic editor Dominic Waghorn said the visit has been planned for "some time" as part of a bid by London and Tehran to improve relations. He is likely to meet with senior government officials, including the country's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, and will attempt to secure the British woman's release.

He will also try to use Britain's support for the Iran nuclear deal which Donald Trump has rejected as a bargaining chip to persuade the regime to show mercy to the British prisoner.

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