As US sanctions put European multinationals in a quandary, Tehran’s move acknowledges UK and EU support

The former foreign secretary Boris Johnson had vowed to leave no stone unturned in his efforts to persuade the Iranian government to release Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. It is not yet clear whether his successor Jeremy Hunt found a face-down stone that Johnson had somehow missed or instead a confluence of new forces has prompted her temporary reprieve.

The UK ambassador in Tehran, Rob Macaire, had been given little warning of her release and she herself was given only a few minutes’ notice.

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