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Zaghari-Ratcliffe considered for clemency in Iran as leave from prison extended: Reports

British-Iranian is in relative isolation at her parents' house in Tehran while country battles coronavirus pandemic
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe after she was released from prison earlier this month (AFP)

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has had her leave from an Iranian prison extended by two weeks and she is being considered for clemency, according to multiple reports on Saturday.

The British-Iranian is in relative isolation at her parents' house in Tehran while the country fights the coronavirus pandemic, but must wear an ankle tag and can go no farther than 300m from the house, the Guardian said.

She had been due to return to Evin Prison on 4 April, according to AFP.

Richard Ratcliffe said his wife's father had been told her temporary release from prison in Tehran will now run until 18 April, Sky News reported, along with other media including the BBC.

Her father was also notified that her file had been put forward to the Iranian prosecutor general for consideration for clemency.

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Former UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt welcomed the news on Twitter, calling it a "glimmer of hope amidst the darkness" and adding: "Let's pray that this remarkable family are reunited soon."

The family's MP, Tulip Siddiq, tweeted: "Every extra day Nazanin is out of jail is better than the alternative - but we must not lose focus on getting her home and away from the danger of coronavirus in Iran as soon as possible."

On a Facebook page used by the family to campaign for Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release, a comment was posted saying the news was "a step in the right direction - let's hope it's the first step home".

On 17 March, she was temporarily released from prison for two weeks as Iran said it had freed about 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, from its jails to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving a five-year sentence for espionage, a charge she has consistently denied. She was arrested in 2016 as she was leaving Iran after taking her then 22-month-old daughter to visit her family.

 She had been working for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the media organisation's philanthropic arm.

The number of dead from the coronavirus has reached 2,517 in Iran and more than 35,000 people have been infected.

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