Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said he raised the case of imprisoned British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe during a recent visit to Tehran.

Mother-of-one Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in 2016 during a holiday visit to show her baby daughter Gabriella to her parents.

The 39-year-old, from Hampstead, north London, is currently serving a five-year sentence over allegations, which she denies, of plotting to overthrow the Tehran government.

Jack Straw
During the three-day visit Jack Straw held meetings with members of the Iranian government (PA)

Speaking to the Press Association after returning from the visit, Mr Straw said the meetings he had in the Iranian capital were “very cordial”.

He added: “We made strong representations about the need for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and another gentleman, to be released on compassionate grounds.”

Pressed on how their representations were received, Mr Straw said he was told by the Iranians that they are considering this option.

“The important thing is that both of these people are released as soon as possible,” Mr Straw added.

During the three-day trip to Tehran, he was accompanied to the Middle Eastern country by Lord Norman Lamont, the UK’s trade representative to Iran, and former ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott.

Mr Straw said they had been invited to attend the Tehran security conference but during their visit also held meetings with members of the Iranian government – attended by Nicholas Hopton, the British ambassador to Iran and his officials.

This included Iran’s vice president and chairman of the Iranian atomic energy organisation Ali Akbar Salehi and Javad Zarif, the country’s foreign minister.

Mr Straw’s visit follows one made by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson last month, who said he had forthright discussions with president Hassan Rouhani about the case of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe.