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British woman jailed in Iran 'unlikely to have cancer'

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is approaching 600 days in prison in the country.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard and daughter
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard and daughter

A British woman who is approaching her 600th day in an Iranian jail has been told by a specialist that lumps found in her breasts are not thought to be cancerous.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested as she attempted to leave the country in 2016.

She was imprisoned for five years on charges of spreading propaganda.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family have maintained she was in the country on a family holiday.

The Free Nazanin Campaign group says she was taken to a specialist at an Iranian hospital after findings lumps on her breasts. The specialist said the lumps had responded to treatment and they were unlikely to be cancerous.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe says she was on holiday in Iran
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe says she was on holiday in Iran

There are further fears however over Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's mental health, with the group saying she has had a psychiatrist meeting cancelled by the prison authorities.

The campaign added that she "has periodically felt suicidal" during her time in prison, and that she is considering going on hunger strike.

On Thursday she will have been in prison in the country for 600 days, marking a third of her original sentence. This makes her eligible to apply for early release, the possibility of which her lawyer has been asked to explore.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband Richard Ratcliffe has spoken to the foreign secretary Boris Johnson about the possibility of getting her diplomatic protection to secure her release from prison.

Richard Ratcliffe met Boris Johnson to discuss his wife's case
Richard Ratcliffe met Boris Johnson to discuss his wife's case PA

Johnson apologised and faced calls to resign after telling a Commons committee Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in Iran training journalists. He then corrected his statement saying: "She was there on holiday and that is the view."

Iranian authorities had cited Johnson's comments as they threatened to double her sentence.

The foreign secretary is expected to announce the date of his visit to Iran at some point this week, and Richard Ratcliffe has spoken with Johnson about the possibility of accompanying him on the trip.

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