Iran official says Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will be freed if arms debt is paid



British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will be released if the UK repays a 1970s-era arms debt, an Iranian official has said, according to Iranian state TV.

The official confirmed separately a report by a Lebanese pro-Iranian TV channel, al-Mayadeen, that Tehran and Washington have agreed on deal to swap prisoners and to release Iranian funds held in the United States.

“The release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in exchange for the UK’s payment of its 400 million pound-debt to Iran has also been finalized,” the official said, Associated Press reported.

However, there has been no confirmation from Britain or the United States that such a deal has been agreed.

Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, said the US had “not yet reached agreement” with Iran, adding that “there’s still fair distance to travel to close the remaining gaps.”

Mz Zaghari-Ratcliffe has already completed a five-year prison sentence in Iran on dubious spying charges.

She was also sentenced to an additional year in prison last week on charges of plotting to overthrow the Islamic Republic, which she also strongly denies.

This is a breaking story. More to follow.

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