Morad Tahbaz: Brit imprisoned in Iran released on tag as family urge Liz Truss to ‘deliver’ and free him
Morad Tahbaz’s daughter says her father, jailed in Iran since 2018, requires urgent medical care.
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Mr Tahbaz’s daughter Roxanne, 35, today called on the foreign secretary – the favourite to become the UK’s next prime minister – to “stand by her promise” to secure the 66-year-old’s full release. Mr Tahbaz is now with family in Tehran.
The environmentalist’s family expected him to be freed alongside UK nationals Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori in March.
Mr Tahbaz, co-founder of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF), has been detained in Iran for more than four years.
In January 2018, Iranian authorities arrested him and eight other people affiliated to the PWHF. Born in Hammersmith, he holds American, British and Iranian citizenship.
During his time in captivity, Mr Tahbaz has suffered health complications due to cancer, contracted Covid-19 twice, and completed a hunger strike.
‘Home is with their children’
Ms Tahbaz, who delivered a card to the Foreign Office in June to mark her fifth Father’s Day without her dad, confirmed he is on temporary furlough with an ankle tag.
“I am glad he can be with my mother who is also in Iran on a travel ban, and that this furlough will allow him to receive the medical attention he urgently needs,” she said.
“However, the UK government’s work is unfinished.
“My father is a UK-born national and he and my mother should have been on the flight with Nazanin and Anoosheh four months ago. They should be free.
“Home is not in Iran, home is with their children.
“As the Foreign Secretary campaigns on a promise of results and delivery to the nation, I hope she will stand by her promise to my family and to my father and ensure his unconditional release.”
Ms Truss is one of two Conservative candidates in the running to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister.
She has spoken of her record as foreign secretary as a reason for Tory members to vote for her, saying: “I am the person in this race with the record of delivery.”
A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said: “The Tahbaz family have confirmed Morad has been released from Evin prison on furlough and is at their home in Tehran.
“Morad is a tri-national and we continue to work closely with the United States to urge the Iranian authorities to permanently release him and allow his departure from Iran.”
The Foreign Office source said that Ms Truss had promised Mr Tahbaz’s release to his family in Tehran, however bringing him back to the UK was complicated by ongoing discussions between the USA and Iran.