Jeremy Hunt rejects idea £400M Iran payment linked to Nazanin release

15 March 2022, 15:47

By Seán Hickey

'We're a country that pays our debts', says the former Foreign Sec. when quizzed on whether an outstanding payment made to Iran was a condition of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release.

British national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has had her passport returned to her whilst remaining in detention in Iran under suspicion of spying on the regime.

The news comes after it has been reported the UK paid an outstanding £400 million debt the Iranian regime.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband Richard and her MP Tulip Siddiq have been vocal in their assertion that her detention is linked to the government's reluctance the debt for undelivered military hardware in the 1970s.

Former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt rejected the idea that the news of Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release is linked to the payment of the debt.

"If this was a ransom demand we should not pay it" he told Tom Swarbrick.

"But this is a debt."

Read more: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe husband criticises 'pretty dark' Govt as hunger strike continues

Read more: Nazanin being used as £400m 'bargaining chip', husband tells LBC on day 10 of hunger strike

"The British government has accepted that it owes them [Iran] money", Mr Hunt went on, pointing out that an international court has ruled that the money is owed.

"We're a country that pays our debts" the Tory MP asserted, telling LBC listeners that "it was the right thing to pay the debt."

"Even so, it is totally unacceptable for a country like Iran or any other country to say, when we have a diplomatic dispute...we're going to take an innocent person hostage."

"We've got to stamp that hostage diplomacy out" Mr Hunt concluded.

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