August 23, 2018 / 7:34 PM / 3 months ago

UK Foreign Secretary Hunt welcomes Iran's temporary release of aid worker

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt speaks as he presides over a United Nations Security Council meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Thursday he welcomed news that Iran had temporarily released Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian aid worker, from prison, but said she should not have been behind bars in the first place.

“We want to thank the Iranian authorities for what they’re doing whilst not forgetting that she should not be in prison in the first place. Nazanin is innocent,” he said during a short briefing at the United Nations.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport and was sentenced to five years in jail. Iran’s envoy to Britain and her supporters earlier on Thursday said she had been released from detention for three days.

Hunt earlier in the day welcomed Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release on Twitter.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Writing by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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