Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:12 pm on 17th July 2019.

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Photo of Richard Graham Richard Graham Conservative, Gloucester 1:12 pm, 17th July 2019

I think you, Mr Speaker, spoke for many of us, if not all, who visited Richard Ratcliffe during his hunger strike and met possibly even more of his family than you did—I think his brother was there on the day I was there. I thank the Minister for the tone he has adopted in tackling this issue, and I obviously congratulate Nazanin’s Member of Parliament, Tulip Siddiq, on raising the issue again.

Surely the difficulty is that this case is wrapped up in a complicated scenario that involves so many different things that have nothing to do with the particular issues that Mrs Ratcliffe’s case involves. My right hon. Friend the Minister will of course know that she is not the only British prisoner currently in Iran, nor are there only British prisoners in Iranian jails. Will he confirm that, in respect of the widest possible issue, the way in which some elements in Iran appear to be damaging that country’s reputation—not just with us but with other countries—by using hostages as a sort of political weapon is very sadly letting down Iran’s reputation around the world?