Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is officially flying home from Iran to Britain after having her British passport returned to her yesterday, MP Tulip Siddiq has confirmed. Posting on Twitter, Nazanin's local MP has today been keeping followers updated on the latest attempt to get the British-Iranian national home, with many waiting with baited breath for the moment she stepped on the plane after numerous previous attempts ended in disappointment.
Now, she will return to her husband Richard Ratcliffe and daughter Gabriella, 7, after near six years held in Iran. The 43-year-old has been fighting to get home ever since she was first detained on wrongful spying charges. Richard has been pressuring the government to ensure her return, most recently going on hunger strike in the hope to ensure real action.
Nazanin was first arrested in April 2016 at Tehran airport in Iran while taking her daughter Gabriella to see family. She was later accused of plotting to overthrow the government. Reports state that the international scandal was all to do with a debt the UK government owed Iran, with papers alleging this week that the UK government had finally paid the £400 million sum to facilitate Nazanin's release and another British-Iranian, Anoosheh Ashoori.
Now, many are asking why that was not done sooner to spare Nazanin so much time in jail.
It will be an emotional reunion for the family - Richard last year told Grazia that they will seek counselling to ensure Nazanin's health comes first when she arrives home.
‘Typically, people need a bit of adjustment when they come back, almost like the bends, it takes a while to adjust back. We’ll need some counselling as a family,’ he said.
According to a medical report sent by the human rights charity Redress to the UK government in March last year, Nazanin will need urgent treatment for her mental health after she was interrogated for hours, often blindfolded, while in solitary confinement at the beginning of her sentence.
Her return home will signal a permanent goodbye to Iran, where she still has family, Richard said previously. '[It will] absolutely be a one-way ticket. That was true from the moment she was taken. No doubt, there will come a point in her life where she will really miss Iran. But no, by doing this to her they've taken Iran away from her forever.'