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Jailed British-Iranian Facing New Charge Of 'Spreading Propaganda'

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman who has been jailed in Tehran for two years, is facing a new charge against her in Iran, her husband says.

A May 21 statement from Richard Ratcliffe said his wife learned of the new allegation of "spreading propaganda against the regime" at a hearing before a judge of Tehran's hard-line Revolutionary Court two days earlier.

He said the judge told her to expect that “there will likely be another conviction and sentence against her." The 39-year-old denied the new accusation.

Following her court appearance, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was able to speak to the British ambassador to Tehran for the first time in more than two years, her campaign said.

It added that she discussed with both the judge and the ambassador a request for her to be let out on temporary release for her daughter's fourth birthday next month.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the parent company of Reuters, is serving a five-year jail sentence in Iran after being convicted of plotting against the government, which she denied.

Her employer and the British government say she was in Iran visiting relatives when she was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016 while traveling home with her daughter.

A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said that the government was committed “to doing everything possible to help secure Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release and alleviate her suffering."

In a telephone call earlier this month, May asked Iranian President Hassan Rohani for Zaghari-Ratcliffe other British prisoners held in the country to be released on "humanitarian grounds."

With reporting by AP, AFP, and the BBC