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Woman detained in Iran for nearly 6 years preparing to leave country, UK lawmaker says

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
Posted at 8:03 AM, Mar 16, 2022

LONDON — A British lawmaker says that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been detained in Iran for nearly six years, is at Tehran’s airport preparing to leave the country.

Iranian state media reported that Britain had “settled a long-overdue debt” of $530 million.

U.K. lawmaker Tulip Siddiq announced the development on Twitter.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had confirmed earlier Wednesday amid his trip to the Middle East that a negotiating team was at work in Tehran to free Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who holds dual U.K.-Iranian citizenship.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was given back her British passport over the weekend.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe served five years in prison after being taken into custody at Tehran’s airport in April 2016. According to CNN, she was arrested following a vacation to visit her daughter. She was later convicted of plotting the overthrow of Iran’s government, a charge that she, her supporters and rights groups deny.

According to NBC News, Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release may raise hopes for the revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear arms deal.