Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:11 pm on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Independent, North East Bedfordshire 7:11 pm, 7th October 2019

I commend my right hon. Friend on the way in which he is handling this distressing issue, and I again commend Tulip Siddiq on the way in which she raises it. The House is united in expressing concern and distress about the circumstances concerning Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, as it has done before.

I have two questions for my right hon. Friend. First, is it not the case that even if Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe is treated as an Iranian citizen, she has now served enough time to be eligible for parole, and it is therefore open to the Iranian authorities, without making any concession in relation to the charges against her, to release her? Secondly, although there are no formal linkages related to her case, Iran covers a wide front in terms of its concerns about issues around it and the negotiations it takes part in, so will he simply confirm that the United Kingdom keeps an open mind in engaging in all those discussions, which will help to reduce tensions in the region? A reduction in tension may make it easier for other matters to be considered.