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Nazanin must be released, UK's Johnson tells Iran president

British prime minister Boris Johnson called for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe during a meeting with Iran's president Hassan Rouhani.

Speaking at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday amid heightened tensions between the two countries, Johnson invited Rouhani to London "where we can discuss things more".

Johnson’s office said he also raised "deep concern about Iran's destabilising activity in the region”. The meeting came after Johnson blamed Iran for attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

Zahgari-Ratcliffe, a Thomson Reuters Foundation manager, is half way through a five-year jail term for spying, which she denies.

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe urged Johnson to tell his Iranian counterpart "enough is enough" and former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said he should call out Iran for its "diplomatic hostage taking".

The prime minister’s office said he called for the "immediate release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual nationals illegally imprisoned in Iran" during his meeting with Rouhani.

He added that his visit to Tehran in 2017 while he was foreign secretary was "very productive but so far inconclusive".

"I think we still have a lot of progress to make," he added. ■