Iran’s Foreign Ministry dismissed British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s remarks about Nazanin Zaghari, a dual Iranian-British citizen jailed in Tehran on espionage charges, saying his “hasty and incorrect” allegations reveal his lack of knowledge of the case.
In a statement on Saturday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi criticized Hunt for his interfering and indecent comments about detention of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in Tehran and for using wrong words about the issue.
“I deplore the use of such terms and expressions by him (Hunt),” Qassemi said, adding that the UK foreign secretary has made “hasty and incorrect” comments about an issue that is basically not the business of his government.
Hunt’s allegations show his “lack of sufficient knowledge of the issue and are somehow interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state,” the Iranian spokesman added.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Friday, Hunt claimed, “Nazanin isn’t the only person who is being detained, despite being totally innocent, as a pawn of diplomatic leverage.”
The British diplomat also described Zaghari’s imprisonment in Iran as “monstrous and totally unjust,” accusing Iran of “locking up innocent people as a tool of diplomatic leverage.”
Elsewhere in the Saturday statement, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman reminded London of the crimes it has been involved in across the Middle East, saying, “The UK foreign secretary had better take a look at his government’s record in the Middle East over the past decades and years, and observe what humanitarian catastrophes and crises the British government’s policies and support for terrorist groups and invading countries have wreaked on the Middle East nations.”
Qassemi also stated that the British government has had a role in the dire situation that people of Yemen, Syrian and Palestine are experiencing, such as extensive destruction, illness, displacement, poverty and starvation.
The countries that have purchased billions of dollars in arms from the UK have used the weapons to fan the flames of war, hatred and destruction in the region, Qassemi deplored, denouncing the British government’s role in such “heinous and shameful” conditions.
“They (the UK and other supporters of Saudi Arabia) must be ashamed of providing political support for the governments attacking Yemen, exporting the arms that massacre humans, and (creating) the catastrophe that has erupted in that country (Yemen),” he concluded.
At the time of her arrest in April 2016, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) referred to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe as “a main ringleader of hostile institutions who had been involved in criminal activities over the past years under the auspices of the foreign governments’ media and espionage services.”
She is now serving a five-year sentence in Iran.