In-depth piece on the UK policy around dual nationals, after British-Iranian Kamal Foroughi’s 78th birthday. Foroughi has spent over six years in an Iranian jail.
First published in The Iranian on 11 September 2017:
“The FCO have been aware since 2013 and provided assistance to the family but it has not been able to provide consular access to Foroughi because Iran does not recognise dual nationality and treats him as solely Iranian.”
In 2017, however, with other UK-Iranian dual nationals like Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Roya Nobakht imprisoned in Iran, some see this line as inadequate.
That’s why Labour MP Tulip Siddiq who sits on the opposition benches of UK parliament, recently held a debate in the House of Commons on the issue. Former and present Prime Ministers along with former and current foreign secretaries have said they’ve raised the case of Forougi, Ratcliffe and Nobakht with their counterparts; however, they have not publicly condemned Iran’s actions, nor have any of them met with the families.
“That is something the families have raised with me over and over again”, said Siddiq during the debate on 18 July, “Why will the Foreign Secretary not meet with the families? Let me be clear: we do not doubt the sincerity of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff, but the fact is that this is not working. The Foreign Secretary needs to meet the families…”