Britain’s daughter jailed in Iran says ‘Father’s Day’ is the toughest day

The daughter of a British man jailed in Iran has said Father’s Day is the “toughest day” as she accused ministers of neglecting her in her case.

Morad Tahbaz, 66, was returned to custody after going on leave on the day Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and fellow dual national Anouseh Ashuri were released in March. His daughter, Roxanne Tahbaz, presented a Father’s Day card and gift to the Foreign Office on Thursday in the hope that she would meet with ministers and be updated on their situation.

But when she arrived, she was dismayed that her concerns had reportedly been delegated to an official at the consular desk, who said they would message her instead. “It was incredibly controversial,” Ms Tehbaz said.

Ahead of the holiday on Sunday, Ms Tehbaz expressed her anguish at the alleged failure to keep talks open with him about the measures being taken to secure his release. “Father’s Day is the hardest day of all,” she said. “While every day is challenging, special moments like holidays and birthdays are especially difficult for me and my siblings.

Roxanne Tahbaz is putting pressure on the governments of Britain and Iran in an effort to free her father from Evin prison in Iran.
(Image: Richard Presley/Amnesty UK/PA)

“Our father has been unjustly imprisoned in Iran for almost four and a half years, but Liz Truss and the government still haven’t informed us what they are doing for his release.”

Ms Tehbaz made what felt like constant attempts to “pleaser” herself and her siblings with “pleasant and false promises”, given her situation and behavior with Richard Ratcliffe and Mr Ashuri’s family before returning home. He rebutted what he said, drawing parallels between them. “There’s no sense of urgency in this – the foreign secretary has nothing to suggest and his office feels they need to get my father out of jail immediately,” she said. “On Thursday, Amnesty was with me as I carried Father’s Day cards and gifts to the Foreign Office.

“To our dismay, neither the Foreign Secretary nor any ministers would meet us, instead we were greeted by another member of his team, who said they would pass on our concerns. It seems that the government is constantly giving us joy and happiness. tries to please with false promises, as she did with the family of Richard Ratcliffe and Anusheh Ashuri. “What we have asked for is very simple, the government should uphold the agreement that would lead to the release of Nazanin and Anoushey. It should have happened at the time of the year, which insisted on the immediate release of our father and insisted on returning home with our mother.”

It is understood that the Foreign Office has been in contact with Mr. Tehbaz’s sister-in-law, chosen family contacts, and an ambassador is in contact with his wife in Tehran. A Foreign Office spokesman said: “Iran remains committed to releasing Morad from prison on indefinite leave. Continuing its horrific ordeal sends a clear message to the international community that Iran does not honor its commitments. We continue to urge the Iranian authorities to release him immediately at every opportunity.”

In March, the UK said it had secured Mr Tehbaz’s furlough, as well as the release and return of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Mr Ashuri. This came as the UK government finally agreed to settle a £400 million loan to Iran under the Shah’s regime in the 1970s. But two days later, Mr. Tehbaz, a tri-national wildlife conservationist, is forced to return to Avin Prison.

A prominent conservationist and board member of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Mr Tehbaz was arrested in January 2018 during a crackdown on environmental activists. He, along with his allies, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on vague charges of spying for the US and undermining Iran. Security.

Ms Tehbaz has been campaigning for her father’s release for months, and in April she held a demonstration outside the Foreign Office begging the government to “fulfill the promise we made”.

She told the PA news agency at the time: “We want them to deliver on the promise they made to us, we’ve always had to believe over the last four-plus years that he had to be part of any deal they were making, And we were convinced that he was coming home as part of that.”

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