Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Gove under fire for comments
Michael Gove has come under fire for saying he did not know what Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was undertaking in Iran when she was arrested in 2016.
Mr Gove told Andrew Marr he would «take her husband’s assurance» that the British-Iranian citizen was on vacation.
He was defending the foreign secretary, whose personal comments have brought on concern that her sentence could be extended.
Labour stated he «was far more interested in safeguarding (Boris) Johnson’s job» than Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s liberty.
Shadow Cabinet Workplace minister Jon Trickett said Mr Gove had «compounded» Mr Johnson’s «cavalier approach to international diplomacy».
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Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at Tehran airport with her 18-month-old daughter in April 2016, 1 of several Iranians with dual nationality to be detained more than a period of months.
She was accused of trying to overthrow the Iranian regime — charges she has usually denied — and sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment.
She says she was on holiday in Iran so relatives could meet her young daughter.
The arrests had been seen as portion of an try by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to undermine President Hassan Rouhani and the method of thawing relations with the West.
Final week UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was criticised for suggesting she had been instruction journalists on the trip — causing concern it could result in her sentence to be lengthened.
Mr Johnson has given that stated the government has «no doubt» she was on vacation «and that was the sole objective of her check out».
Asked on Sunday by Mr Marr what she had been carrying out in Iran, Mr Gove replied: «I never know» adding there was «no purpose Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe must be in prison in Iran so far as any of us know».
He went on to say her husband was the person who would know and he would take his assurance that she was on holiday.
He stated: «We make a huge error if we consider the proper issue to do is to blame politicians in a democracy who are trying to do the appropriate thing for the plight of a lady who is being imprisoned by a regime that is a serial abuser of human rights.»
«Who is in the dock here? Iran. It need to be the actions of their judiciary and the revolutionary guards.»
He added the UK need to not «play their game».
‘Undermining our country’
Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have each named for Mr Johnson to resign for putting Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe at danger.
Mr Corbyn told the Observer Mr Johnson need to be sacked as foreign secretary for «undermining our country» and «putting our citizens at threat».
And Labour’s Tulip Siddiq, who is Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s MP, told the BBC that she had repeatedly raised the particulars of the case in Parliament
«For Michael Gove to go on Tv nowadays and say he wasn’t confident … he ought to know that Nazanin was on vacation and in compounding the lie that was told about education journalists, he is only going to make life worse for my constituent.»
It is understood that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard spoke to the foreign secretary on Sunday. Mr Ratcliffe told the BBC he hoped he might be in a position to travel to Iran with Mr Johnson to meet his wife and see his daughter, who he has not noticed in individual given that the arrest.
Source: New feed