Iran calls on Britain to “avoid politicizing” the case of dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe after London said her appearance in court on new charges was “unacceptable.”
The hearing on Sunday dashed hopes of family and supporters for a swift return home of the 42-year-old, in a case that has sharpened diplomatic tensions between the Islamic republic and the United Kingdom.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case “is transparent and depends on the judiciary,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh tells reporters in Tehran.
“The best way to help find solutions to such cases is to avoid politicizing them,” he adds.
“I advise the British government, which has politicized the case in the past, to allow justice to follow its course,” Khatibzadeh says.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s lawyer Hojjat Kermani has said she is now being prosecuted for “propaganda against the system, for having participated in a rally in front of the Iranian embassy in London” in 2009.
The mother-of-one appeared in court on Sunday where she denied all charges, according to the Free Nazanin support campaign.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab dismissed the new case as “arbitrary.”
It was “unacceptable that Iran has chosen to continue a second wholly arbitrary case,” he said on Sunday.