As you some of you will be aware, there are a number of serious concerns around the continued detention of British-Iranian dual citizens Kamal Foroughi and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (a former resident of Brockley) in Iran. The Iranian Government does not recognise dual nationality of Iranian citizens and requests for consular access to detainees in that country have been rejected on these grounds.
The Labour Party has been pressing the Government to take action to secure the release of Mr Foroughi and Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe. I have added my name to the letter my colleague Tulip Siddiq MP has written to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson urging him to do all he can to facilitate their immediate release.
I understand that the Government has raised both cases with the Iranian Government on a number of occasions now. I also understand that the Prime Minister has raised concerns surrounding consular cases involving dual nationals, including both of these cases, directly with the President of Iran.
The wider human rights situation in Iran is a cause for concern and it is important that we speak up for the rights and freedoms that all human beings are entitled to. I hope that our Government will continue to make representations on both of these cases to the Iranian Government and that they can be resolved as soon as possible.
I am aware that Tom Brake MP has tabled an Early Day Motion on this subject but unfortunately my job as an Opposition Whip prevents me from signing it. I have, however, written my own letters to both Teresa May and Boris Johnson to pass on the concerns raised by constituents in their emails and letters to me.
I have now received the below response from Tobias Ellwood MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.