September 20, 2016 / 10:23 PM / 3 years ago

May raised concerns over detained aid worker with Iranian leader

British Prime Minister Theresa May enters the General Assembly Hall to speak during the 71st United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan, New York, U.S. September 20, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday raised concerns about the case of a detained Iranian-British aid worker with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a Downing Street official said.

Iranian-British aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in prison in Iran on charges that remain secret, her family said earlier this month.

“The Prime Minister raised a number of consular cases where we have concerns, including Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe,” a Downing Street official said.

The official said May wanted to understand the situation after reports that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been sentenced.

Iran’s hardline Revolutionary Guards have accused her of trying to overthrow the country’s clerical establishment. The official charges against her have not been made public and the Iranian authorities were not immediately available for comment.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, a London-based charity that is independent of Thomson Reuters and operates independently of Reuters News. The Foundation and her husband have dismissed the Revolutionary Guards’ accusation.

The 37-year-old, who appeared in court for the first time in August, according to Iranian media and her family, was arrested at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport as she tried to leave Iran after visiting her parents.

She was separated from her two-year-old daughter, Gabriella, who has remained in the care of her grandparents.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Bill Rigby

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