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  1. ITV Report

Jailed Briton Zaghari-Ratcliffe's court case 'postponed' following Johnson trip to Iran

The new court case of imprisoned Briton Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been postponed in the wake of the Foreign Secretary's visit to Iran, her husband has said.

Boris Johnson has been on a two-day visit to Iran where he has held separate talks with the president, Hassan Rouhani, and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Richard Ratcliffe said: "Nazanin's court case was not held today in the wake of the Foreign Secretary's visit. This is undoubtedly a good sign."

"We were worrying what this weekend was going to hold," he added. "If the foreign secretary had a good Saturday ... maybe we'll have a good Sunday and out court case will go well or even melt away and it's melted away."

The foreign secretary had a "forthright" meeting with Iran's president over the case, according to his spokesman, who called the trip "worthwhile".

Johnson spoke "frankly" with both President Rouhani and the Foreign Secretary's Iranian counterpart during two separate round of talks in Tehran over the weekend.

The two-hour meeting with Iranian foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif covered a number of areas, including Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's situation.

Mr Johnson concluded his visit by meeting President Hassan Rouhani

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "They discussed the full range of bilateral issues and they both spoke frankly about the obstacles in the relationship, including the Foreign Secretary's concerns about the consular cases of British-Iranian dual nationals.

"Both emphasised their commitment to continuing to work together to improve the bilateral relationship."

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving a five-year sentence over allegations, which she strongly denies, of plotting to overthrow the Tehran Government, having been arrested in 2016 during a trip to the country in 2016 to show her baby daughter, Gabriella, to her parents.

But Iranian prosecutors claim she was teaching journalism "aimed at recruiting and training people to spread propaganda against Iran".

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been imprisoned in Iran since April 2016. Credit: PA

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was due before the courts again on Sunday, following threats to increase her sentence by five years followingJohnson's gaffe of telling a parliamentary committee that she had been in Iran to train journalists.

The Tory MP later acknowledged this was not the case and was faced with calls for his resignation.

During his trip, Johnson was not able to visit Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe in prison since Tehran does not recognise the Reuters project manager's dual UK-Iranian nationality, and refuses access to her for representatives of the British authorities.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard and daughter.

However, Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband, Richard, believes Mr Johnson's visit to Iran will bring his wife "some hope".

Mr Johnson's trip to the Middle Eastern country is only the third by a UK Foreign Secretary since 2003 and comes at a time of tension in the area over Donald Trump's announcement that he is recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

As well as discussing Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the former mayor of London's wide-ranging talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif will seek to shore up bilateral relations and urge Tehran to stick by it terms of its 2015 nuclear deal.