Jeremy Hunt warns Iran US strike is hammer blow to getting jailed Brit Nazanin Zahari-Ratcliffe home


JEREMY Hunt has warned the US strike on Iran is a “hammer blow” to getting jailed Brit Nazanin Zahari-Ratcliffe home.

The ex-Foreign secretary claimed the US assassination of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani would have “heartbreaking” consequences for the British citizen.

Jeremy Hunt has warned the situation is ‘heartbreaking’.

She has been detained in the country and kept from her husband and five-year-old since April 2016 over trumped-up spying charges.

Speaking this morning, Mr Hunt said the situation could not only help terrorism rise again, but also affect the 40-year-old mum.

He said: The other risk which I think is absolutely heartbreaking is the impact on the efforts to get Zahari-Ratcliffe home.

“What’s happened with the assassination of Soleimani will be a hammer blow to those who are trying to get loved ones home.

Everything Iran does now will be seen through the prism of its relationship with the west, with the United States, of wanting to exact revenge and retribution on western countries for what has happened.

“That of course makes it a much tougher climate if you’re trying to negotiate something as sensitive as getting someone home.

The former head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, Soleimani was killed in a targeted drone strike as he left Baghdad Airport in a convoy with a number of other military officials.

Soleimani kisses the forehead of Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah in his last known picture
People line the streets for the funeral procession in Tehran.

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani told Soleimani’s daughter that Iran would “avenge [her father’s] blood”, and Sunday saw tens of thousands line the streets of the Iranian city of Ahvaz chanting “Death to America”.

Mr Hunt also claimed both sides were misjudging the situation, and tipped it to get worse.

He explained: What we have at the moment is a very dangerous tinderbox situation.

“Both sides are fundamentally underestimating the strength and resolve on the other side.

Neither side wants a war, and I dont think there will be a war, but both sides will feel the need to retaliate when they are attacked.

It comes as the husband of the Brit mum labelled her situation ‘desperate’.

Richard Ratcliffe has been fighting to bring his wife home.

Richard Ratcliffe told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he has requested a meeting with thePrime Ministerfollowing the escalation of tension between Iran and the West.

He said: “Part of our campaigning has always been to call on Iran to uphold international law and to respect UN rulings in Nazanin’s case and that gets a bit harder when international law is played fast and loose with by other parties.

“We have always been a chess piece in this game and this chess game has just changed radically.

“I think there needs to be a real clear clarity of priorities and I think we are asking to meet with Boris Johnson, with us and the other families (of British Iranian prisoners), as soon as possible to give that reassurance.”