Iran returns passport to detained aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, raising hopes for release

LONDON — A British-Iranian national detained in Iran, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been given her British passport back, raising hopes she could be released soon.

British MP Tulip Siddiq tweeted Tuesday that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was “still at her family home in Tehran” and that she understood there is a British team in the Iranian capital negotiating her release.

Hojjat Kermani, Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s lawyer, told Reuters: “I am hopeful that we will have good news soon.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested at a Tehran airport in April 2016 during a trip to Iran with her daughter Gabriella, and jailed for five years on charges of plotting against the regime. She was later sentenced to an additional year of confinement on charges of spreading propaganda.

Iranian authorities had demanded that the U.K. pay a £400 million debt in exchange of her release, together with other dual nationals Anoosheh Ashoori and Morad Tahbaz.

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