The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has pleaded with Boris Johnson to deliver a “Christmas miracle” and help free the jailed British-Iranian charity worker.
Richard Ratcliffe, in a letter to the prime minister released this week, said he felt Mr Johnson had made “placebo promises” to see that 40-year-old Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was released, which he has not kept.
Mr Ratcliffe said he sent the letter to Mr Johnson two weeks ago but has not received a reply. He said the prime minister has ignored all pleas for contact since entering No 10, despite promising as Foreign Secretary to “leave no stone unturned”.
Now he feels he has no choice but to go public with his most heart-rending appeal yet in the three-and-a-half years since his wife’s arrest by Iranian authorities on espionage charges.
“Enough is enough. How can this be allowed to happen without the PM explaining what he is doing about it? If you take responsibility for the country you have to take responsibility for obvious mistakes,” he writes.
“Our story defines what a British passport is worth on your watch,” Mr Ratcliffe said. “The job of a PM is not just to make headlines, but in the end to make a difference. That starts with protecting citizens at their most vulnerable, home and abroad.”
He said Mr Johnson was responsible for the imprisonment of more British-Iranian dual nationals in Iran.
At least three Iranians holding British nationality have been arrested by Tehran in the last year, as relations worsened with the Islamic Republic.
In his letter he revealed his wife is now so desperate she has spoken of taking an overdose.
“Nazanin says how she no longer wants to live through what they are doing to her,” he wrote. “Those in power do not care enough to solve it, and she cannot keep going like this. She has lost hope, lost everything, in bottomless waiting.”
The Ratcliffe family made the decision to bring daughter Gabriella, five, home to London from Tehran, where she had been living with her grandparents and paying visits to her mother in Evin prison.
She has been enrolled in a school near their home in Hampstead, north London, and in a new photograph appeared happy as she sat on her father’s shoulders.