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British-Iranian Mother Sends Letter From Iran's Notorious Prison

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe embraces her daughter Gabriella, following her release from prison for three days, August 23, 2018

In a letter from Tehran's Evin prison, Iranian-British mother, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has accused the Islamic of Iran of putting her "on auction" for its "political ends and demands."

The letter, widely circulated on Wednesday, October 2, on social media, reflects the despair of the 40-year-old mother of one who has been behind bars since April 3, 2016.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe has also disclosed that her only child, Gabriella (Gissoo) soon will go to school in Britain. Previously, the Islamic Republic intelligence agents had banned the child from leaving Iran and joining her British father, Richard Ratcliffe.

Speaking to Radio Farda, Richard Ratcliffe has confirmed that Nazanin had planned to write the letter, and that Gabriella left Iran for Britain to go to school.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news agency when arrested in Tehran.

Along with her toddler daughter Nazanin had gone to Iran's second-largest city, Mashhad, to visit her family in March 2016.

On April 3, 2016, agents of Iran's fearsome Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Intelligence Organization arrested her at the Imam Khomeini Airport as she and her 22-month-old daughter were about to board a flight back to the U.K.

Nazanin is currently serving a five-year prison sentence over allegations of planning the "soft subversion" of the Islamic republic establishment while traveling there with her toddler daughter. Nazanin and her attorneys have repeatedly denied the charges.

Now, with Gabriella back in Britain, Nazanin will also be deprived of meeting her daughter in the remaining years of her imprisonment.

In her letter, Nazanin has reiterated her innocence, lamenting with despair that she had lost hope for finding a way out of prison.

"How bitter it is to find out someday that one is placed behind bars with ultimate injustice, while there's no prospect of freedom," Nazanin has written with a sorrowful note, adding, "Now, after separation from my Gissoo (Gabriella), I have no hope or motivation to be freed from my cage."

Blasting the Islamic republic judicial system, Nazanin has asserted, "My government boasts about supporting Palestinian, Syrian, and Yemenis' mothers, but shuts her eyes to the tribulation of an Iranian mother separated from her only daughter, adding salt to her injury by passively watching her suffer."

Referring to a financial dispute between Tehran and London, Nazanin has protested, "My country placed me under the hammer, for receiving a huge amount of money which reflects its political demands. It has been years since I lost hope in my own government to release me."

The initial dispute goes back to a 1970s defense deal between the Royal Iranian Defense Ministry and International Military Services (I.M.S.), a venture owned by the British MoD.

I.M.S. agreed in 1971 to sell Iran more than 1,500 Chieftain tanks and armored vehicles for more than 650 million pounds (approximately $800 million). Tehran canceled the contracts in February 1979 after the pro-Western Shah was toppled by revolution. Having already paid for the undelivered tanks, Tehran has demanded its money back, plus interest.

Earlier, the Islamic Republic Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif had maintained that London offered to pay back its debt for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Nevertheless, a day later, the British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, dismissed the claim as unfounded.

Describing herself as a politicians' puppet, Nazanin has regretfully written, "Whether in or outside my fatherland, they have used us as a tool to implement their policies and achieve their political ends."

Nazanin has written her latest letter a week after an alliance was formed at the fringes of the U.N. General Assembly in New York to unify relatives of the dual nationals jailed in Iran.

The alliance hopes to defend the rights of the imprisoned dual nationals in one voice, urging all countries to attempt for their release in an orchestrated way.