Iran denies any link between UK debt, jailed aid worker
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 16
By Khalid Kazimov – Trend:
Iran has denied media reports suggesting that the UK was preparing to pay back decades-old debt to the Islamic Republic in a diplomatic effort aimed at helping release Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“The settlement of the UK government’s debt to Iran has no connection with the case of Mrs. Zaghari. These two cases are quite different issues,” the spokesperson of the foreign ministry of Iran, Bahram Qasemi, told ISNA on Thursday.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman also denied the report on Thursday, saying there was no link between the 400 million pound ($528 million) debt owed to Iran and the fate of a jailed Iranian-British aid worker, Reuters reported.
The Sun newspaper earlier reported that the UK was preparing to pay the long-standing debt to help free the 39-year old woman who was earlier imprisoned in Iran during her family holiday in April 2016 for allegedly "plotting to topple the regime".
The Sun said Iran has demanded that Britain pay back the 400 million pounds, which the former Shah of Iran paid in 1979 for 1,750 Chieftain tanks and other vehicles, almost none of which was eventually delivered.