Situation in the Gulf

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:06 pm on 22nd July 2019.

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Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 5:06 pm, 22nd July 2019

May I take this opportunity to thank the hon. Lady for her very diligent campaigning for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe? I was trying to be very careful with my words just now to say that I always try to avoid linkage between the two cases because, inevitably with a country such as Iran, our relations go up and down; and I would never want an innocent woman to suffer as a result of the ebb and flow of those relations. Of course, I cannot guarantee that Iran does not seek to make that link itself, and it would be completely wrong of it to do so.

I am afraid that the stories that the hon. Lady tells me about the conditions under which Nazanin has been detained are stories that I have heard and they are totally shocking. We hoped—and I think the hon. Lady probably hoped—that it might be good news that Nazanin was being transferred to a hospital for help with certain medical conditions, but it now looks like that was not the case. That is extremely shocking. I reassure her that I bring up Nazanin’s case every time I talk to Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif; I talk about it in as much detail as I am able, because I want him to know that we will never, ever forget the fate of even one British national who is treated the way that Nazanin is being treated.