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UK's Johnson 'shouldn't resign' over jailed aid worker

Monday, November 13, 2017 - 01:48

The husband of an aid worker jailed in Iran says British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson shouldn't resign over his comments over her case. Johnson apologized on Monday for saying Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was teaching journalists in the Islamic Republic, clarifying that she was on vacation. Lucy Fielder reports.

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The husband of an Iranian-British aid worker jailed in Iran says British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson shouldn't resign over his comments on her case, despite opposition calls for him to do so. Johnson apologised on Monday (November 13) for saying in early November that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - who has dual British-Iranian nationality - had been teaching journalism in Iran before her arrest. Telling parliament she was there on holiday, as her family and her employer - the Thomson Reuters Foundation - have said. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY, SAYING: "It was my mistake. I should have been clearer, and I apologise for the distress and anguish that has been caused to Mrs Zaghari Ratcliffe and her family." (SOUNDBITE) (English) RICHARD RATCLIFFE, NAZANIN ZAGHARI-RATCLIFFE'S HUSBAND, SAYING: "I think it's really important now that the foreign secretary's comments have been used to implicate her, and used to justify, and they are repeated again on Saturday (November 11) night on television in Iran, I think it's really important that the UK takes personal responsibility - the foreign secretary takes personal responsibility for solving this and for providing diplomatic protection." Downing Street now says it is considering providing such protection. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran's clerical establishment and jailed for five years. She denies the charges. The Foundation, which is a charity and independent of Reuters News, said Johnson's comment could provoke Iran to hand Zaghari-Ratcliffe a longer jail term. It was cited by Iranian state media as evidence of her guilt. And a minister allied to Johnson, Michael Gove, was accused of further muddying the waters on Sunday when he said he did not know what Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing in Iran. Ratcliffe said he'd spoken to Johnson by phone and they'd discussed going to Iran together - which he hoped could help his wife's case.

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UK's Johnson 'shouldn't resign' over jailed aid worker

Monday, November 13, 2017 - 01:48