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Gove: 'I don't know what' jailed British woman was doing

Gove: 'I don't know what' jailed British woman was doing

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman being held in Iran, has seen a specialist after finding lumps in her breasts, her husband has said.

"We make a big mistake if we think the right thing to do is to blame politicians in a democracy who are trying to do the right thing for the plight of a woman who is being imprisoned by a regime that is a serial abuser of human rights", he said. "He also told Nazanin that given her family history of breast cancer, and the fact that many cancers are related to stress, and given the level of anxiety Nazanin has been exposed to over an extended period, her situation should be kept under close surveillance". Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family have always maintained she was in Iran visiting family.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe is also understood to have expressed her anger over Boris Johnson's blunder last week when he incorrectly claimed she was in Iran "training journalists".

Johnson later apologized for his comment, but Iran's state broadcaster said it was an implicit admission of guilt.

Earlier this month, Johnson told lawmakers that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was "teaching people journalism" when she was detained previous year.

Family and friends say the confusion has put Zaghari-Ratcliffe at risk of a longer prison sentence.

The full details of the allegations against Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe have never been made fully public. "No evidence has been produced which suggests she should be detained".

The Iranian government accused her of working for a United Kingdom media network involved in activities against Iran. She was accused of engaging in "propaganda against the regime" and could face an additional five-year sentence. She was also charged with having attended a demonstration outside the Iranian Embassy in London.

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Michael Gove, Britain's Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, arrives in Downing Street for a cabinet meeting in London, October 17, 2017.

Asked what Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing in Iran, Mr Gove said: "I don't know". Mr Gove insisted there was "no reason" for the detention and said: "There is nothing the Iranian regime would like more than for the attention to be shifted off them and on to us".

When told that Richard Ratcliffe said his wife was in Iran on holiday, Mr Gove added: "In that case, I take exactly her husband's assurance in that regard".

"Michael Gove must have known he would be asked that question and yet answered in that way".

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, her husband Richard and her daughter Gabriella. He admitted that his comments to the parliamentary committee "could have been clearer", and added that he was "sorry" if his remarks were misconstrued.

Jeremy Corbyn called on Mr Johnson to go, saying he had been "putting our citizens at risk for long enough", and London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he should resign or be sacked following his "long list of gaffes" as Foreign Secretary.

The calls for Johnson's dismissal come with May facing a crisis over her Cabinet after losing two ministers this month.


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