Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is under increasing pressure after his disastrous misstep when he falsely stated that British citizen Nazanin Ratcliffe – on the verge of early release from a five-year sentence for supposedly trying to orchestrate a ‘soft overthrow’ of the Iranian regime – had been in Iran to train journalists.
Ms Ratcliffe is neither a journalist nor a trainer of journalists and was in Iran on holiday with her young daughter to visit her Iranian family. Johnson’s recklessness has put her at risk of another five years or more in an Iranian prison – and his false statement has already been used by media and courts in Iran as incriminating evidence against her.
Last week, Johnson was challenged by Labour MP for Oxford East, Anneliese Dodds, who has been among those trying to secure Ms Ratcliffe’s release, to admit his error in order to help a UK citizen gain her freedom and end the huge stress on her family.
His response was staggering in its hubris, self-justification and heartlessness:
‘Not my mistake, not my fault, don’t blame me’ – in very nearly as many words.
Johnson’s line was echoed by Environment Secretary Michael Gove on the BBC’s Marr programme this morning in what is clearly a ‘spin’ designed to try to save Johnson’s blighted career.
Which is clearly of a lot more importance to Johnson and his allies in the Tory party than the freedom of a British woman and the massive burden his reckless idiocy has put on her family.
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