teheran - British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson arrived in Iran on Saturday. His program includes talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, President Hassan Rouhani, Secretary Ali Shamkhani of the Iranian National Security Council. Topics are bilateral relations, regional issues and international developments, according to the Iranian state press agency IRNA.
A tricky issue is the fate of the Iranian-British aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. She was sentenced to five years in prison after having been convicted of a conspiracy to overthrow the Iranian clergy. On Sunday she has to come to court again. Because of awkward statements from Johnson, she is possibly waiting for a heavier sentence.
With the remark that she taught people in journalism before her arrest in April 2016, according to critics Johnson did not do a good job. Meanwhile, the minister has apologized for this.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, a charity organization that is separate from Thomson Reuters and the Reuters news agency. The foundation says that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was on holiday in Iran and did not teach there in journalism.
The visit establishes Johnson's ability to find his way in the political minefield full of pitfalls. Iran is regarded as a pariah by many countries in the West and the Middle East after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Britain is still behind the agreement about the Iranian nuclear program, but has voiced concerns about the 'destabilizing' role of Iran in the region.