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Emma Thompson leads 'mother's' protest over British woman jailed in Iran

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has been accused of jeopardising defence of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
Emma Thompson pointed to the "bunch of angry molecules bumping around in Westminster" (screengrab)

The British-Iranian woman being held in Tehran thanked London protesters for their support on Saturday, as Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson accused British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson of making her situation worse.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at Tehran airport on 3 April 2016, after visiting relatives with her young daughter.

She was initially sentenced to five years in jail for sedition. Then last month authorities presented extra charges, after Johnson said she was training journalists in the country - something her employer, the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), and her family have strongly denied.

She will appear in court on December 10 accused of spreading propaganda.

"I'm so grateful for everybody's support and love ... I am so overwhelmed and moved," Zaghari-Ratcliffe said by phone, the Guardian reported. "All that is on my mind is to be back home and to be back with my family."

Thompson said the foreign secretary should "get on a plane" to Tehran as she joined supporters of Zaghari-Ratcliffe, including her husband Richard Ratcliffe, in the couple's neighbourhood of Hampstead in north-west London.

"We are a net of compassion and love for Nazanin and her family. This is what we human beings do best - in stark contrast to the bunch of angry molecules bumping around in Westminster," the actress said.

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"If I can get out of bed with pneumonia to support a horribly abused member of our community then our foreign secretary can get on a plane and go to Iran and deal with the problem he's so seriously exacerbated."

The foreign secretary later clarified his remarks, saying it was clear that she was only on holiday. He is expected to raise her case when he makes an official visit to Iran in the coming weeks.

Thompson, a mother of two who won a best actress Oscar for her role in Howard's End, is supporting a "mother's open letter" calling on Tehran to free Zaghari-Ratcliffe so she can be reunited with her daughter.

Gabriella, now three, had her British passport confiscated and has since been living with her grandparents in Iran.

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