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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Boris Johnson really is a blight on the United Kingdom and an embarrassment internationally.

The Tory leadership candidate – who may become prime minister on July 22 – has tried to wriggle out from his responsibility for worsening the plight of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been imprisoned in Iran on a false charge of spying since 2016.

He actually had the nerve to say that those criticising him are trying to excuse the Iranian authorities who wrongly locked her up!

For clarity (and this is according to Sky News): “As foreign secretary, he incorrectly stated that she was “teaching people journalism” in Iran despite relatives insisting she was visiting family. Mr Johnson’s comments were seized on by the Tehran regime and used against the charity worker, who remains in prison.”

Iranian officials cited his words as evidence that she had engaged in “propaganda against the regime”.

Mr Johnson told Sky News: “I feel sorry for her, for her daughter, for her husband Richard and I’ve said this many, many times. I feel a deep sense of anguish for what she has been going through.

“When it comes to responsibility for what she is suffering I think that is incredibly important that we in the UK do not unwittingly give aid and succour to the people who are really responsible – which is not the Foreign Office, not the former foreign secretary, and no one in London is responsible for incarcerating Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

“The people who are responsible are the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and anything you do to exculpate them is, I think, a great shame.”

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her husband Richard have both just ended a simultaneous 15-day hunger strike in protest against her imprisonment. Mr Ratcliffe hit back at the Tory leadership candidate, according to The Observer:

“Of course it’s not all [Johnson’s] fault,” said Mr Ratcliffe. “Clearly we are camped here [outside the Iranian embassy] because the Iranian authorities are imprisoning Nazanin, but he should take responsibility for his mistakes because they have consequences.

“Not just the gaffe – the failure to apologise afterwards clearly made things worse.

“I think it’s bad for a candidate not to take responsibility for their mistakes because the most important thing for a prime minister is to take responsibility for their country.”

With the election in which he hopes to become Tory leader yet to take place, one hopes the Conservative Party’s membership pays attention to this stain on the character of this candidate.

One fears they may ignore it. If so, will it be another clear indication that Tories are racists?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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