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Iran's Ambassador To Britain Defends Treatment Of Dual National

Iranian-British citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (R) poses for a photograph with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella, undated. File photo

Tehran's ambassador to London has accused human rights activists and institutions of "injustice and hypocrisy" over the case of a British-Iranian mother, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, held in custody in Iran.

An employee of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016 and is serving out a five-year jail sentence for “sedition and espionage”- a charge she has repeatedly denied.

Nazanin, 41, the prominent physicist and civil rights defender Narges Mohammadi, went on a three-day hunger strike last week, to protest lack of medical treatment behind bars and denying their access to specialist doctors outside prison.

"There is total injustice and hypocrisy by the HR activists when they protest over alleged 'delayed access to medical facilities' for some individuals but ignore thousands of Iranian patients who are suffering from lack of specialized medicines due to the U.S. sanctions," Iranian ambassador in London, Hamid Baeidinejad wrote on his Twitter account on Sunday, January 20.

While ignoring the fact that sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic do not include medicine and medical facilities, Baeidinejad has gone further, twitting, "Mrs.Nazanin Zaghari during her detention period has visited her daughter and family 201 times with an average of 6 times per week. She has been received 49 times by medical specialists: 22 by physiotherapist (physical therapist), 15 times by psychiatrist, 8 times by dentist and 4 times by neurologist".

The number of 201 the visits the ambassador mentions do not add up to six times a week, since Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in prison close to 900 days.

Baeidinejad, was summoned to the British foreign ministry last week to explain the conditions of her incarceration.

Baienejad's tweet is, in fact, a reflection of comments made earlier by Tehran's Prosecutor-General, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, and has got nothing new in it.

Jafari Dolatabadi had said on January 16 that all inmates "convicted of security charges" have access to the "best" medical facilities.

Meanwhile, Dolatabadi dismissed comments by Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband, Richard, accusing the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' intelligence authorities of trying to coerce his wife into becoming a spy in exchange for her release.

“She was told it would be safer for her and safer for her family afterward if she agreed to do this,” Richard Ratcliffe said. “She was told to think about it and that they would return. She has been terrified ever since.”

Nevertheless, Baiedinejad preferred to avoid responding to Ratcliffe's allegation, or referring to Narges Mohammadi's situation.