Is Boris Johnson’s gaffe about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s Iran trip grounds for his removal?
By repeating the lie being used to detain my constituent, the foreign secretary abrogated his responsibility to a British citizen facing a life or death situation.
As our country’s most senior diplomat, his words have consequences. Saying so does not detract from the fact that ultimate responsibility for this human tragedy lies with Iran, but it underlines the dangerous impact the foreign secretary’s comments have had.
The consequences are clear on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s website, which said his’s initial comments “shed new light” on the case. The fact that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was dragged to court two days later is further proof of the damage he has caused.
My priority is to encourage any moves to bring Nazanin home, and that would involve putting our best diplomatic foot forward.
By showing a lack of contrition over such a damaging mistake, I believe that Boris Johnson must reflect and consider his position.
There is only one place to go to put the blame for the imprisonment of the innocent Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and that is straight to the doors of the government of Iran.
While the foreign secretary has said that he could have made his intention clearer when he addressed the Commons Select Committee and has apologised to Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s family for the anxiety this lack of clarity may have caused them, the idea that he should resign in consequence would be only an unalloyed boon to the government that has incarcerated her without even making known the charge or the evidence.
Imagine the joy in Tehran if Britain showed itself so supine in the face of their behaviour as to appear to vindicate the basis of their action. Yet that is the inevitable consequence of these calls for Boris Johnson to go. He has put the record straight.
It behoves politicians of all parties to rally round now in putting the interests of this poor mother first, rather than indulging in petty domestic point-scoring.