FCDO Questions

At Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Questions on 21 June 2022, I asked the Foreign Secretary during Topical Questions:

“Will the Minister please update the House on the cases of British citizens Morad Tahbaz and Mehran Raoof, who are still in Evin Prison in Iran?”

Morad Tahbaz is an environmentalist who was arrested in Iran in January 2018. On 16 March 2022 we were told he was released on furlough at the same time that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori were released to return to the UK, but after only a few days Morad was returned to prison. Mehran Raoof is a labour rights activist who was given a ten-year sentence in October 2020, and both remain in Evin Prison.

The Minister responded: “I can assure the House that the UK Government remain completely committed to securing the full release of British dual nationals held in Iran. That passion has not been diminished. I assure the right hon. Lady and the House that we will continue to work on this with as much alacrity and passion as ever we have.”

The Minister restated the Government’s commitment to achieving the release of British nationals held in Iran but it is disappointing that he could give no detail of further progress.

This week Morad’s daughter Roxanne delivered a Father’s Day card to the Foreign Office to be delivered to her father in Evin Prison. Roxanne has requested a meeting with the Foreign Secretary which has not been granted.