Daughter of Morad Tahbaz to stage protest outside Foreign Office

From 10.30am on Wednesday, Roxanne Tahbaz will stand outside foreign secretary Liz Truss’s office and hold a placard saying “Bring My Dad Home”.

The daughter of a British-US national who was expected to be freed from Iran last month is staging a protest outside the Foreign Office on Wednesday.

Roxanne Tahbaz says her father has been left behind.

Morad Tahbaz, a 66-year-old wildlife conservationist, was led to believe that he would be released from Iran alongside Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori after Britain repaid its historic £400 million arms debt to Iran.

However after being released on furlough for 48-hours he was returned to Evin Prison where he now remains.

From 10.30am on Wednesday, his eldest daughter Roxanne will stand outside foreign secretary Liz Truss’s office and hold a placard saying “Bring My Dad Home”.

Mehran Raoof (left) and Morad Tahbaz (right) have been left behind in Iran

Mr Tahbaz, who was born in Hammersmith and has British, American and Iranian citizenship, was arrested in 2018 during a crackdown on environmental activists.

A prominent conservationist, he is a board member of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, which seeks to protect endangered species.

Alongside seven other conservationists, he was accused of collecting classified information about Iran’s strategic areas under the pretext of carrying out environmental and scientific projects.

He is one of the many foreign nationals who have been held on various allegations of working to undermine the Iranian regime.

British-US national, Morad Tahbaz, remains imprisoned in Iran.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, government officials led us to believe that our father would be included in any deal that was being made alongside Nazanin and Anoosheh last month,” said Roxanne.

“Even the furlough, which was publicly announced by the Foreign Office, held no merit, as my father is still withering away in prison.

“The manner in which this has been handled has made us feel completely betrayed - we’ve been misinformed, misled and abandoned.

“There’s only one way Boris Johnson and Liz Truss can right this wrong and repair the trust we once had in our Government - they need to urgently renegotiate with the Iranian authorities, and this time ensure that they bring our father and mother home without delay.”

“I’ve said numerous times since I got back that I can’t fully savour my freedom while Morad, Mehran and others are languishing behind bars after enduring the same travesty of justice I went through,” said Anoosheh Ashoori.

“I’m going to keep speaking about this until Morad and the others are back - just like my incredible family did for me.”

A handout picture released by the Free Nazanin campaign group shows Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (C) hugging her husband Richard Ratcliffe (R) and their daughter Gabriella upon her arrival at RAF Brize Norton early on March 17th. Photo: HANDOUT/Free Nazanin campaign/AFP via Getty Images.

“It is always bittersweet whenever there’s a release for those who are left behind in Evin prison,” said Richard Ratcliffe.

“Nazanin and I remember the feeling - others’ happiness that can feel so bleak, can leave you staring blankly at a wall of questions: ‘Why? Did we not matter enough?’

“I hope the UK is still working on a breakthrough for Morad and Mehran that we don’t know about, and that the Embassy is going to get to see them in Evin and ensure they are safe in the meantime.

“I also hope the Foreign Secretary stays true to her word on Nazanin’s release and continues the work to end hostage diplomacy and also holds those who practise it accountable.

“These games hurt too many lives.”

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “The Iranian Government committed to releasing Morad from prison on an indefinite furlough. Iran has failed to honour that commitment.

“Continuing his horrendous ordeal sends a clear message to the international community that Iran does not honour its commitments. We continue to urge the Iranian authorities at every opportunity to release him immediately.”