Emotional family reunions for Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Ashoori as they finally arrive back in UK

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori have arrived in the UK, touching down at RAF Brize Norton shortly after 1am. Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained in Iran for six years and accused of plot

Emotional family reunions for Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Ashoori as they finally arrive back in UK

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori have arrived in the UK, touching down at RAF Brize Norton shortly after 1am.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained in Iran for six years and accused of plotting to overthrow the government, but will now be reunited with her husband and seven-year-old daughter.

Also on the plane was Anoosheh Ashoori, who had been held in Iran since 2017 on spying charges.

The foreign secretary tweeted a picture of the family's reunion. Pic: @trussliz
Image: The foreign secretary tweeted a picture of the family being reunited. Pic: @trussliz

The pair walked down the plane's steps together about 15 minutes after landing, with both giving a brief wave as they set foot again on British soil.

Mr Ashoori could also be seen in the cockpit having a selfie with pilots before he got off.

Read more:

Live updates - Britons imprisoned in Iran finally back in UK
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - The six-year fight for freedom
Family of Anoosheh Ashoori speak of 'surreal' feeling as he leaves Iran

More on Nazanin Zaghari-ratcliffe

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe shortly after taking off from Tehran
Image: Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe shortly after taking off from Tehran

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, speaking at the Oxfordshire RAF base, said she wasn't sure the pair would actually be released "until the last minute".

She also tweeted: "Delighted that Nazanin and Anoosheh have landed safely in the UK and are reunited with their families and loved ones. Welcome home."

Long-running efforts to free the Britons finally paid off yesterday when Ms Truss confirmed they were heading home.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori with some of those who helped secure their freedom
Image: The Britons with some of those who helped secure their freedom

The breakthrough came after Britain paid £393.8m to settle a debt related to a tank order placed by Iran in the late 1970s.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe denied Iran's allegations and her husband Richard fought a high-profile campaign to free her, which included a hunger strike.

The family of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe are excited and anxious for her return after fighting for her release from Iran for 6 years.
Image: Her husband earlier said he was looking forward to them being a normal family again

Hopes the 43-year-old's release could be near were dashed on several occasions, taking a toll on her physical and mental health.

Another British-Iranian, Morad Tahbaz, has also been released from prison on furlough and the foreign secretary said the government would continue to work on his "long overdue" permanent release.