Zaghari-Ratcliffe a victim of Iran’s hostage diplomacy, says husband

Beirut: Britain needs to recognise Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s detention in Iran as a state-sponsored hostage-taking, her husband said the day after Tehran released a jailed Australian-British academic in an apparent prisoner swap.

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer at Melbourne University, was released from Tehran’s Evin prison on Wednesday after serving over two years of a 10-year sentence for spying. Australia refused to confirm she was freed in a prisoner exchange, saying only that her release followed “diplomatic engagement with the Iranian government”.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is detained in an Iranian prison.Credit:AP

Thailand said on Thursday it had repatriated three Iranians involved in a failed 2012 bombing targeting Israeli diplomats. While Thai officials declined to call it a swap, Iranian state television showed the garlanded men being hailed as returning heroes in the same segment as footage of Moore-Gilbert departing Tehran airport.

“It’s very certainly transactional from their point of view,” said Richard Ratcliffe, whose wife has been detained for four-and-a-half years.

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