News ID: 255983
Published: 1216 GMT July 18, 2019

Why Does Richard Ratcliffe refuse to meet his daughter in Iran?

Why Does Richard Ratcliffe refuse to meet his daughter in Iran?

Richard Ratcliffe has forged a media career by painting himself as the embattled husband of an “oppressed woman” and an “innocent mother”.

His wife, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, was arrested on 3rd April 2016 on security-related charges and, subsequently, sentenced to five years imprisonment. She is currently serving her sentence at the Evin prison in Tehran, Presstv Reported.

One of Ratcliff’s main complaints is that he is unable to travel to Iran to meet his five year old daughter Gabriella. He has raised this point, again and again, in countless media interviews in order to elicit sympathy for his cause.

However, in May 2017, Richard Ratcliffe was offered a “humanitarian” visa by the Iranian embassy in London, but refused to take up the offer. In response to this offer, Ratcliffe said that: “a humanitarian visa is greatly appreciated… practically this is something I would like to take up after the election.” Two years on and Ratcliffe has still not cared to take up the offer. It is still unclear how the Iranian election has any bearing on this issue.


A “humanitarian” visa is a special instrument, which is usually granted speedily, to facilitate ease of travel. Few countries in the world grant humanitarian visas. The European Union, for example, does not have the legal framework to issue them, at the union level, even though it has come under pressure to do so in recent years.  

Iran’s offer was unique, yet Ratcliffe refused to take it up. Had he accepted the Iranian ambassador’s offer, he would most likely have been reunited with his daughter within days.

These undisputed facts contradict Ratcliffe’s carefully crafted narrative, centred on injustice and, specifically, the inability to reunite with his daughter.



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