Prosecutors in Iran have rejected a motion to conditionally release two well-known female prisoners, their defense attorney told the government’s official news website IRNA on Sunday.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a dual British-Iranian citizen detained on ambiguous national security charges since 2016, and renowned human rights defender Narges Mohammadi are eligible for conditional release, the attorney Mahmoud Behzadi-Rad reiterated.
Mohammadi has already served seven years in prison. Behzadi-Rad also said that Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, as bailiff had agreed to her release but the prosecutors disagreed.
Zaghari-Ratcliff was arrested when she visited her family in Iran and all efforts by the United Kingdom have failed to secure her release. Her small daughter who has accompanied her to Iran stayed with her mother's family until this year, when she returned to Britain to attend school.
There were reports earlier that UK agreed with releasing 400 million pounds of Iranian money held since the Iranian revolution in 1979 for Zaghari-Ratcliff’s release, but the Iranian foreign Ministry has denied the reports.
Her husband Richard Ratcliffe has been campaigning for his wife’s release. He staged a sit-in outside the Islamic Republic embassy in London in June attracting attention to the case. The embassy complained that his sit-in was a nuisance for the building but the police did not interfere.