Johnson given lifeline from unlikely ally

News that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has found new lumps in both her breasts and is on the verge of a nervous breakdown underlines the horror of the predicament this mother-of-one has found herself in since she was arrested on holiday in Tehran in April 2016.

That the Foreign Secretary added to her despair by mistakenly telling MPs she was training journalists in Iran is – in the eyes of many – a sackable offence.

But Mr Johnson was offered a lifeline on Sunday from an unlikely ally – her husband.

Richard Ratcliffe heard his wife sob down the phone over Mr Johnson's remarks.

Video:Boris Johnson 'put jailed Briton's life in danger'

He wrote of his wife's "anger" toward the Foreign Secretary in a statement released on Sunday. But he also wrote that it is not in his wife's interest for Mr Johnson to go.

That's because after 19 months of campaigning for his wife's release, Mr Johnson is finally having to take notice.

The Foreign Secretary's mistake when giving evidence to MPs on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee has catapulted Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's plight from a diplomatic incident into a national story, and a full-blown political crisis for him.

So Mr Ratcliffe is right when he says Mr Johnson will have a "crucial role in the weeks ahead to stand up for Nazanin and finally bring her home".

That's because his political future is now entwined with her fate.

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