Emotional reunions for Brits held in Iran as they land back in UK

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori have been reunited with their families after years held prisoner in Iran. They landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire shortly after 1am and walked off

Emotional reunions for Brits held in Iran as they land back in UK

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori have been reunited with their families after years held prisoner in Iran.

They landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire shortly after 1am and walked off the plane together, giving a brief wave as they stepped foot again on British soil.

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Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Ashoori step off the plane

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained in Iran for six years after being accused of plotting to overthrow the government.

Anoosheh Ashoori had been held on spying charges since 2017. Both denied the allegations.

Images tweeted by the foreign secretary showed the Britons meeting their loved ones again at the RAF base.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was pictured in a tweet with her arms around seven-year-old daughter Gabriella, and alongside her husband Richard.

The two elated families stood side by side in another photo.

More on Nazanin Zaghari-ratcliffe

Arm in arm with their loved ones
Image: The two families both campaigned hard to free their loved ones
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

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she wasn't sure the pair would actually be released "until the last minute".

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

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

Read more:
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - The six-year fight for freedom
Family of Anoosheh Ashoori speak of 'surreal' feeling as he leaves Iran
Did deal over £400m tank debt secure British-Iranian mother's freedom?

Anoosheh Ashoori was reunited with his family after five years
Image: After five years, Anoosheh Ashoori was reunited with his family

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband fought a high-profile campaign to free her, including a hunger strike and numerous media interviews.

Hopes that the 43-year-old's release could be near had been dashed on several occasions in the past, leading to her suffering with depression and hair loss.

Richard Ratcliffe said on Tuesday he was "so relieved" his wife was at last coming home so they could "start being a normal family again".

He added that she would probably want him to make her a cup of tea and tidy the house.

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Truss: We weren't sure about release until 'the last minute'

Mr Ashoori's family also fought hard for his release.

His daughter, Elika Ashoori, told Sky News before he landed: "We have been waiting for this moment for about five years now and my dad has not seen the light of day for that long...

"Tonight we're happy that he will be reunited with us and finally be able to sleep in a comfortable bed."

Another British-Iranian, Morad Tahbaz, has also been released from prison on furlough.

The foreign secretary said the government would continue to work on his "long overdue" permanent release.