Sobbing Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe tells daughter she is 'so beautiful' in emotional family reunion

17 March 2023, 12:48 | Updated: 17 March 2023, 13:30

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an Iranian-British dual citizen, was detained in Iran in April 2016 on spying charges, accused of attempting to topple the Iranian government.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an Iranian-British dual citizen, was detained in Iran in April 2016 on spying charges, accused of attempting to topple the Iranian government. Picture: LBC / PA / Channel 4

By Danielle DeWolfe

Emotional footage shows the moment Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe tells her six-year-old daughter she's "so beautiful" during the family's first reunion on British soil, released as part of a brand new documentary.

The intimate moment aired as part of Thursday night's Channel 4 documentary Nazanin, following her husband Richard Radcliffe's six-year battle to ensure her release from prison in Iran.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an Iranian-British dual citizen, was detained in Iran in April 2016 on spying charges, accused of attempting to topple the Iranian government.

She has always maintained her innocence.

Her husband has long insisted her imprisonment was part of a historic dispute between Britain and Iran over unpaid debts, with her release eventually coming after the UK settled a £400 million bill dating back to the 1970s.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe emotionally reunited with daughter and husband in footage

The emotional footage shows the moment Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe steps off the plane from Iran, with her husband, daughter and close family members watching on.

Her daughter can be heard squealing "is that mummy?" as she disembarks the plane, a moment many feared would never come.

The documentary, made by film-maker Darius Bazargan, captured the heartwarming reunion, alongside Mr Radcliffe's prolonged battle to secure his wife's release.

The British-Iranian mother returned to Britain, along with a second dual national, Anoosheh Ashoori on March 17 after having been released the day before.

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The British-Iranian mother returned to Britain, along with a second dual national, Anoosheh Ashoori on March 17 after having been released the day before.
The British-Iranian mother returned to Britain, along with a second dual national, Anoosheh Ashoori on March 17 after having been released the day before. Picture: PA / Channel 4

It's a journey that saw him go on hunger strike outside the Iranian Embassy in London, with the documentary depicting events including his dealings with the British government.

“With respect, you’re my fifth Foreign Secretary,” he once staunchly said during a conversation with then-Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

The emotional documentary shows Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe angry and frustrated, at one point adding: “I might as well just go and die”.

“It’ll be ok,” reassured her husband Richard.

“You’ve told me that for five years,” responds his wife.

The heartwarming reunion follows Mr Radcliffe's prolonged bid to secure his wife's release,
The heartwarming reunion follows Mr Radcliffe's prolonged bid to secure his wife's release,. Picture: LBC / Alamy

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe returned to Iran on 17 March 2016 to visit her family for Nowruz (Iranian New Year), alongside her 22-month-old daughter, when she was arrested by Iran's Revolutionary Guard at Imam Khomeini Airport.

In September 2016, she was sentenced to five years in prison for her alleged crimes,

At a press conference following her release last year, Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe said she should have been able to come home in 2016, not long after departing for Iran.

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