Written by : MARTIN COULTER
Britain is preparing to pay a decades old £450 million debt to Iran in a diplomatic effort at improving Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s chances of release, it has been reported.
The 39-year-old mother-of-one was imprisoned by the Iranian government while on a family holiday in April 2016 for allegedly “plotting to topple the regime”.
Now it has been reported the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, is hoping to improve relations with Iran by paying back a historical debt owed since the 1970s.
The former Shah of Iran paid the British government £650 million for 1,750 tanks but only 185 were delivered before his regime was brought down and the order cancelled.
The International Chamber of Commerce demanded Britain pay £450 million back in 2009 but a ruling on international sanctions against Iran prevented this from happening.
It is thought that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe may be being held by the Iranian government as “collateral” for the debt.