Jeremy Hunt flies to Iran seeking releaseof charity worker

Britain's Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt arrives for a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London Tuesday

Britain's Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt arrives for a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London Tuesday

US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will visit Iran today for talks on the global agreement aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear programme.

Reuters reports, citing Iranian media, that Hunt will meet with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, as well as the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, an ally of Iran's Supreme Ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

One notable case is that of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is serving a five-year jail sentence for alleged sedition.

Last Friday, Trump lashed out at Prime Minister Theresa May over the UK's Iran ties after she phoned him to congratulate him on the Republican Party's showing in the midterm elections.

"So I arrive in Iran with a clear message for the country's leaders: putting innocent people in prison can not and must not be used as a tool of diplomatic leverage".

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Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, has campaigned exhaustively for her release, saying she is suffering extreme mental and physical hardship at the notorious Elvin.

Mr. Hunt pressed his counterpart Mohammad Zarif on the case in September when they met in NY on the fringes of a United Nations General Assembly. Her daughter was later released.

As Trump intensified his sanctions on Iran on November 4, the European Union introduced the payment system, known as the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), to bypass the sanctions and ensure Iran is compensated for the US withdrawal.

On Monday, the rebels said they are halting drone and missile strikes after a request from the United Nations. "It needs 100 percent compliance though to survive", Jeremy Hunt said in a statement before his departure for Tehran.

Cuba has expressed interest in a plan by the European Union to create a mechanism to get round United States sanctions against Iran, saying it hopes the mechanism would also help it sidestep the trade embargo that Washington has imposed on it for decades now.

"But we also need to see an end to destabilizing activity by Iran in the rest of the region if we are going to tackle the root causes of the challenges the region faces".

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