Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe outside 10 Downing Street following a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this month
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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has revealed she was forced to sign a false confession in front of a British official before she could leave Iran – and fears Tehran could use ‘dehumanising’ act against her one day.

The British-Iranian dual national, 44, says she was forced to admit to the allegations while ‘under duress’ after having been detained for six years over accusations of spying – a charge she and the UK deny.

Nazanin was freed in March along with fellow detainee Anoosheh Ashoori after the UK agreed to settle a historic £400 million debt dating to the 1970s after 5 years in Iranian jail on propaganda charges.

But the charity worker said she was taken to the airport without seeing her parents on the day she was allowed to fly home.

Speaking to Woman’s Hour presenter Emma Barnett for a special edition of the Radio 4 programme which will also air on BBC1, she said: ‘Instead I was made to sign the forced confession at the airport in the presence of the British Government.

‘They told me that ‘you won’t be able to get on the plane’. And I knew that that was like a last minute game because I knew they were… They told me that they have been given the money.

‘So what is the point of making me sign a piece of paper which is incorrect? It’s a false confession.’

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe outside 10 Downing Street following a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this month

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe outside 10 Downing Street following a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this month

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe revealed the allegations while speaking to Woman's Hour presenter Emma Barnett for a special edition of the Radio 4 programme

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe revealed the allegations while speaking to Woman’s Hour presenter Emma Barnett for a special edition of the Radio 4 programme

A 20-page letter has been sent to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss detailing allegations that she was forced to sign the document

A 20-page letter has been sent to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss detailing allegations that she was forced to sign the document

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella pictured outside 10 Downing Street

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella pictured outside 10 Downing Street

She added: ‘The whole thing of me signing the forced confession was filmed.

‘It’s a tool. So I’m sure they will show that some day.’

Tulip Siddiq, the Ratcliffes’ constituency MP in Hampstead and Kilburn, today called for Ms Truss to answer the ‘serious questions’ about Nazanin’s treatment.

The Labour politician said: ‘The Foreign Secretary must set out in Parliament what she knew about this shocking revelation and what consequences it could have for my constituent.’

It was argued in the UK that the Iranian authorities insisted Nazanin would not be able to leave unless she signed the form, and that the British official did not force her to sign it, only passing on Tehran’s demand.

Nazanin was arrested in 2016 on spying charges when she was due to fly home after visiting her parents with her daughter.

But she was jailed for five years on charges that she was plotting to overthrow the Iranian government – with a further 12 months for propaganda against Iran last year.

She has maintained her innocence throughout the jail term, insisting she was on holiday visiting her family.

A Government spokesman said: ‘Iran put Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe through a horrendous ordeal, right up to the moment she left the country.

‘Throughout that time the UK Government was working tirelessly to end her unfair detention, but it was always in Iran’s gift to release Nazanin and allow her to return to her family.

‘We urge the Government of Iran to end its practice of unfairly detaining British and other foreign nationals, and we will continue to work with international partners to that end.’ 

Today’s revelations come after her husband Richard Ratcliffe alluded to ‘mistakes made at the end’ of the ordeal in Iran earlier this month.

Speaking after his wife’s first meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson since her release, Mr Ratcliffe said: ‘I think there are lessons to learn, there is a wider problem.

‘We talked about the mistakes made at the end. It was rough at the end, and I think, when Nazanin is ready to talk about it, that is something that we need to go through.’

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori arriving at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, on March 17

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori arriving at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, on March 17

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe used her first meeting with Boris Johnson since he was Foreign Secretary to impress upon him the consequences of him mistakenly saying she was training journalists in Iran earlier this month

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe used her first meeting with Boris Johnson since he was Foreign Secretary to impress upon him the consequences of him mistakenly saying she was training journalists in Iran earlier this month

He also told reporters that Mr Johnson had failed to ‘specifically’ apologise at their meeting for his 2017 gaffe where he wrongly claimed that Nazanin had been training journalists at the time of her 2016 arrest.

The meeting was the first time the two had met since Mr Johnson, then Foreign Secretary, made the mistake which led to an Iranian court using the comments as ‘proof’ that she was engaging in propaganda. 

After facing a sustained backlash over the remarks, Mr Johnson previously equivocated that he was sorry ‘if (he had) inadvertently caused any further anguish’.

It comes after an announcement last month that MPs are to stage an inquiry into the detention and release from Iran of Nazanin and Ashoori.

The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said it will take evidence on how their cases were handled by British officials as part of a wider investigation into ‘state-level hostage situations’.

Following their return, both detainees have been critical of the failure of the Foreign Office to secure their freedom sooner. 

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