Britain preparing to transfer 400 million pounds to Iran - Telegraph newspaper

Boris Johnson to Meet Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband over escalating her case to 'diplomatic protection' status

"An outstanding debt owed by the U.K.to Tehran will be transferred to the Central Bank of Iran in the coming days".

Concerned by reports that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is unwell, Dr Rowan continued: "The Iranian Government understands there is a role for religious leaders in public life and it's a role which has to do with fundamental moral issues".

"Iran's claims case against British military firm has a long history and is not a case of the past couple of years", reassured the Iranian envoy to London. The deal was made with the then Shah of Iran and would have seen 1,750 tanks and other vehicles sold to Iran.

Sky's Defence Correspondence Alistair Bunkall said the money should not be considered a ransom payment.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said that a range of issues would be discussed with Britain during a visit to Tehran this month by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Iranian media reported on Thursday.

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He added that while the debt has been neither demanded by Iran nor offered by the United Kingdom, the story was likely revealed to "test Iranian reaction and, to a lesser extent, British public opinion".

According to him, Britain received an advance payment from Iran and delivered some tanks in the next few years before the Islamic Revolution, but it stopped adhering to its deal commitments after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 that toppled the US-backed monarch.

The Hague's Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in 2001 that the outstanding funds should be returned.

However, her husband has suggested the two could be linked.

Dr Rowan said current Archbishop of Canterbury Most Rev Justin Welby, Cardinal Vincent Nichols or a senior Vatican figure could be well-placed to help secure Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's freedom. Speaking after meeting Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, he said: "It is important that the United Kingdom honours its global legal obligations, so that Iran can honour its legal obligations".

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