The Iranian regime is known to be ruthless and paranoid over the extent in which western nations are involved with potentially trying to topple the regime in Tehran. This has resulted in the hardened Revolutionary Guard making several arrests of Iranian-British nationals, notably Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in 2016 when she was detained at an airport on her way home to London. The situation was exacerbated when Boris Johnson remarked she was there for journalistic work purposes despite Nazanin being explicit that she was visiting family on holiday.

The British-Iranian charity worker was sentenced to five years in prison for allegedly plotting against the Iranian government, however, she continues to maintain that she is innocent, saying she was on holiday in Iran visiting family.

The Zaghari-Ratcliffe case

The British government, headed by Boris Johnson in this case as he is Foreign Secretary, have been a disaster and the continuous blunders by Mr Johnson could see her 5-year sentence extended. But Richard Ratcliffe says his wife is facing possible new charges, he says that his wife Nazanin rang him at 5.30am on 14th May saying that she is due to face further charges against her. The timing is unsurprising as Boris Johnson is due to meet his Iranian counterpart for talks on the Iran nuclear deal In Brussels and it is suspected that the continued detainment of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is to put pressure on the UK.

As mentioned above, the plea by Mr Ratcliffe for the Foreign Secretary to bring up the safety of his wife comes as Mr Johnson prepares to meet his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, in Brussels to discuss how to save the Iran nuclear deal after the US withdrew last week. They plan to meet the French and German foreign ministers and EU high representative Federica Mogherini as well.

Back in November 2017, Iranian state television aired more allegations that could have added an extra 16 years to her jail sentence.

The original 5-year sentence was brought upon her because the Iranian authorities thought she was planning a soft-coup of the Iranian government and the claims then were linked to that with the state television airing a special report on the Zaghari-Ratcliffe case, claiming new evidence had surfaced.

However, this came around when London were considering paying Tehran $530 million debt occurred when the UK pulled out of an arms deal after Iran had paid the money. Boris Johnson did raise the issue in December however, failed to make any progress on the case.

Iran nuclear deal

Previously Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal claiming that it wasn’t working and that it wasn’t good for the world or the US. However, there was unified global condemnation of the US president over the decision with Boris Johnson making a last-minute plea on Fox & Friends for Mr Trump to remain as part of the nuclear deal. But Trump preferred to seek a different route, siding with Israel over the false claims that Iran have been developing nuclear weapons despite them complying with external inspections and every other demand by western powers, something which Israel haven’t done themselves.

The move by Trump also came on the back of the Iranian authorities deciding to report foreign trade using the euro rather than the US dollar. But Britain, France and Germany are working to secure measures to protect European countries working in Iran against the danger of US sanctions on Tuesday evening. Ahead of the meeting, Mr Johnson said: "We are going to have a conversation about what we can do to help UK firms and help European firms have confidence that they can still do business”.