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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe beams as she sets foot in Britain for the first time in SIX YEARS after Iran’s prison hell

British hostage Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe beamed as she set foot in Britain for the first time in six years after her hellish ordeal as an Iranian prisoner.

A jet carries exhilarated Nazanin, 44, landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire in the early hours of the morning after being sacked by Tehran on Wednesday.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe beamed as she set foot in Britain for the first time in six years

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe beamed as she set foot in Britain for the first time in six yearsCredit: Unknown, clear with picture desk
A jet carrying Nazanin, 44, landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire

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A jet carrying Nazanin, 44, landed at RAF Brize Norton in OxfordshirePhoto credit: Getty
The mother will soon enjoy a tearful reunion with her doting husband

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The mother will soon enjoy a tearful reunion with her doting husbandPhoto credit: Getty
Husband Richard and seven-year-old daughter Gabriella - who was just a tot when her mother was arrested

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Husband Richard and seven-year-old daughter Gabriella – who was just a tot when her mother was arrestedPhoto Credit: Tom Bowles/Story Picture Agency

The mother will soon enjoy a tearful reunion with her doting husband Richard, 45, and seven-year-old daughter Gabriella—just a tot when her mother was arrested.

She was joined on the tarmac by another released prisoner, Anoosheh Ashoori, who was serving a four-year sentence in Tehran for espionage – which he denies.

Her landmark release came as ministers settled a historic £400million debt over a canceled 1970s fuel contract by agreeing a humanitarian aid package that could include Covid vaccines.

gabrellaShe, who was allowed to visit her mom in Iran in 2018, had previously selected the toys that she wanted to take with her on the welcome journey home.

And Richard – who spent 21 days on it last year hunger strike for their release – joked the family’s home in Hampstead, north London, is in need of a serious clean-up

He said: “The first thing she wanted was for me to make her a cup of tea, so let’s do that.

“I think actually we’ve been looking at the house and it needs a little tidying up, so there might be a little tidying up, maybe with mum’s guidance.

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“This was a cruel experience in a way, but also an encounter with such a level of kindness and caring from all walks of life.

“I think it will be the start of a new life, a normal life and hopefully a happy family.”

And as he cuddled with his daughter yesterday, Richard said he can’t wait to “stop being a moment in history and be a normal family again”.

He added: “We cannot take back the past, but we live in the future, not the past. We take it one day at a time. It will be the beginning of a new life.”

When asked what he wanted to say to the people who had campaigned for his wife’s release for so many years, Richard said, “Just ‘thank you.’

“We wouldn’t have come here, this wouldn’t have happened today, without all the care and support from people across the country.

“Homecoming is a journey, not an arrival. I don’t think it will be just today, there will be a whole process.

“Hopefully in the years to come we will look back and just be a normal family and this will be a chapter in our lives but there are many more chapters to come.”

British-Iranian Nazanin flew home last night after a tense standoff in Tehran following her release via the Gulf state of Oman.

Thugs from Iran’s feared Revolutionary Guard insisted on keeping the terrified mother “under control” while she awaited departure – while her loved ones feared yet another cruel betrayal.

Whitehall officials stressed that she would not be free until she boarded a plane.

Richard added: “It was bumpy. There have also been some scary conversations over the past few days with people trying to make sure she’s well behaved when she comes back.”

However, he was later assured that she had taken her place for launch.

And the celebrations began when family MP Tulip Siddiq tweeted the first picture of the smiling mum on the plane.

Nazanin arrived in Muscat, Oman at 3.30pm UK time before landing at RAF Brize Norton on a government chartered Titan Airways Boeing jet just after 1am.

Meanwhile, Morad Tahbaz, who has Iranian, British and US citizenship, has been released from prison but is not yet allowed to leave Iran.

Boris Johnson said he’s thrilled the families will finally be reunited, admitting, “It’s been a lot of work from a lot of people.”

Parents’ visits caused agony

APRIL 3, 2016: Arrested after visiting Tehran Airport to take baby Gabriella to her parents.

SEPTEMBER 9, 2016: Five years in prison for “conspiracy to overthrow the government”.

24 APRIL 2017: She loses her charm.

NOVEMBER 6, 2017: Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson falsely says she “trains journalists,” sparking claims in Iran that she was spreading propaganda.

11/15/2017: Husband Richard says Nazanin is “on the verge of a nervous breakdown”.

08/23/2018: Release from prison for three days.

MARCH 28, 2020: Released under house arrest.

MARCH 7, 2021: Sentence to be ended, but new charges brought.

26 APRIL 2021: Gets an extra year in prison for taking part in a demonstration in London 12 years ago.

11/17/2021: Britain is trying to pay off its £400m fuel debt.

MARCH 16, 2022: Nazanin is finally free.

The Prime Minister added: “The release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori and the furlough of Morad Tahbaz are major achievements for British diplomacy.

“I salute the tireless efforts of those who have worked for six years to make today’s events possible. To the FCDO officials, our ambassadors to Iran and of course my successors as Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, Dominic Raab and Liz Truss.”

Nazanin was arrested in 2016 while vacationing in Tehran and convicted on fabricated charges of conspiring to overthrow the government.

She endured five years of mental anguish and physical hardship alongside assassins and cutthroats in Tehran’s grim Evin prison and served another year under house arrest.

After months of secret talks, the ministers agreed that the canceled tank order is symbolically linked to the release of several dual nationals.

Unscrupulous rulers used them as collateral when they haggled for the return of cash paid for 1,500 Chieftain tanks that Britain refused to deliver after Iran was seized by Islamists in 1979.

As Iran is subject to international sanctions, Britain has not paid the debt in cash.

Ms Truss said the funds would “only be earmarked for the purchase of humanitarian goods” – stressing they violated no international sanctions rules.

Sources have suggested the money could go toward Iran’s faltering vaccine rollout.

Mrs. Truss – the fifth foreign minister to work on the case – suggested that Iran’s new regime helped push talks forward over the last year.

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She said: “The torment they suffered must never happen again.

“You have endured an appalling ordeal. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be without my family, my mother, for so long.”

Freed hostage Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe says she gasped for a decent cup of coffee

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Freed hostage Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe says she gasped for a decent cup of coffee

Hubby’s Free Her fight

NAZANIN Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard has orchestrated a relentless campaign to secure her release.

The accountant’s crusade began immediately after his wife was held in Iran in 2016 – and within two weeks he was delivering a petition with 500,000 signatures to No. 10.

It was unclear at the time why she was arrested.

Hunger strikes, vigils, protest marches and appeals to the British and Iranian governments followed.

Richard, 45, based in London, worked behind the scenes cajoling and encouraging MPs to do more.

The sight of him during another hunger strike in front of the Foreign Office last October is said to have finally persuaded the ministers to act.

But it was a promise of millions in cash that finally brought Nazanin home safely from the clutches of her heartless captors.

In 2018 Gabriella was allowed to visit her mom in Iran

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In 2018 Gabriella was allowed to visit her mom in IranPhoto credit: AFP
Nazanin and dual citizen Anoosheh Ashoori arrive in Muscat, Oman

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Nazanin and dual citizen Anoosheh Ashoori arrive in Muscat, OmanPhoto credit: Reuters
Nazanin and Ashoori flew back to the UK via the Gulf State

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Nazanin and Ashoori flew back to the UK via the Gulf State
Richard spent 21 days on hunger strike to campaign for Nazanin's release

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Richard spent 21 days on hunger strike to campaign for Nazanin’s releasePhoto credit: Times Newspapers Ltd
Liz Truss said:

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Liz Truss said: “I can’t imagine what it would be like to be without my family, my mother for so long”Credit: PA

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Bobby Allyn

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