LONDON: The family of a British-Iranian dual national detained in Iran fear that he will “be forgotten” as the UK government negotiates the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
Elika Ashoori, daughter of retired engineer Anoosheh Ashoori, said UK government officials and ministers have “refused to name” her father when discussing the hostage situation.
Elika told The Times: “(UK Prime Minister) Boris Johnson has never mentioned us or been in contact with us privately. None of us have been mentioned at all.”
She warned that the government might be choosing to focus on the release of Zaghari-Ratcliffe, whose case has been given more media attention, even if it means her father is left behind.
Elika said: “This is by no means the fault of Richard Ratcliffe or Nazanin — the blame is on the government.”
Anoosheh’s family previously accepted UK Foreign Office requests to “stay silent” following his 2017 arrest in Tehran.
They were warned by officials that publicizing the case would undermine his bid for freedom.
One of at least four UK nationals detained by Iran, Anoosheh was imprisoned for “spying” and “acquiring illegal wealth.”
His family say both charges were trumped up to provide Tehran with greater bargaining power in negotiations.
The UK Foreign Office has said Anoosheh’s case was “raised regularly” with Iranian authorities at the highest levels, including by Johnson.
“We strongly urge Iran to reunite Mr. Ashoori with his family,” an official said. “Our embassy in Tehran continues to request consular access. We are in close contact with his family and continue to support them.
“We remain committed to securing the immediate and permanent release of arbitrarily detained dual British nationals in Iran.”