Catherine West MP said: “the news that my constituent Aras Amiri, a British Council employee, has been sentenced to ten years in an Iranian prison is a devastating blow. I’ve been in contact with her fiancé and the Foreign Office about this case for some time and we had all been hoping for a more positive outcome. Yet Iran is increasingly pursuing a policy of imprisoning innocent employees of legitimate institutions to use as diplomatic leverage, a hostage diplomacy that we’ve also seen in the ongoing appalling case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Following the sentencing, I raised the issue with the Prime Minister in Parliament, attending a briefing for her employers the British Council and held an urgent meeting with the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Aras’ fiancé to discuss next steps. I have asked Jeremy Hunt to raise this urgently with the Iranian Foreign Minister.
Together with my colleague Tulip Siddiq, MP for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, I have also written formally to the Foreign Secretary.