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Iran’s hostage diplomacy incurs self-inflicted wounds

After six years of dispute that plunged Iran-UK relations into a deep freeze, Tehran decided last month to release Iranian-British charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Her ordeal in an Iranian prison made her an international cause célèbre, arguably the most notable case of a dual national being detained by the Islamic Republic in recent decades.

Since leaving Iran to rejoin her husband and daughter who was 22 months old when she was arrested at a Tehran airport in April 2016, Zaghari-Ratcliffe has spoken out about her traumatic experience behind bars while criticizing the failure of five consecutive British foreign secretaries to find a diplomatic way to win her freedom.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, a charitable arm of the news organization, was arrested on charges of espionage for the British government and plotting to topple the Iranian government. After standing trial, she was sentenced to five years behind bars.

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