LONDON (AFP) – The United Kingdom (UK) said it will take the “extremely unusual” move of granting diplomatic protection to British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe jailed in Iran over spying allegations.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the decision was in response to the “unacceptable treatment” experienced by the dual national including a lack of medical care during her three years in detention.
“I have today decided that the UK will take a step that is extremely unusual and exercise diplomatic protection,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
“This represents formal recognition by the British government that her treatment fails to meet Iran’s obligations under international law and elevates it to a formal state to state issue.”
Diplomatic protection is a rarely-used mechanism allowing nations to seek protection on behalf of its citizens on the grounds that they have been wronged by another state, according to Britain’s foreign office.