Gransnet forums

News & politics

Zaghari-Ratcliffe - why doesn’t the U.K. pay what we owe Iran

(96 Posts)
Whitewavemark2 Mon 26-Apr-21 14:07:29

Another years imprisonment because we don’t pat the £450 million that we owe Iran.

Doesn’t this government care about human suffering or that morally we owe the money.

I don’t know why I ask really as I know the answer.

Urmstongran Mon 26-Apr-21 14:15:49

Good question. How long has the debt been outstanding?

Whitewavemark2 Mon 26-Apr-21 14:17:37

It is decades old. I assume Iran are charging interest?

Urmstongran Mon 26-Apr-21 14:18:49

The Guardian, 28 May 2019:

“Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has rejected a plea from the Foreign Office to hand over £400m owed by the UK government to Iran from a decades-old British tank sale, saying it is not prepared to give the money to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the Guardian understands.”

Decades old?
How many? Who ordered the tank?

EllanVannin Mon 26-Apr-21 14:20:58

She should never have been jailed in the first place and having already completed her 5 year sentence that should be the end of it. Iran are being blood-minded as usual in their complaint about spreading propaganda about the country.
This in mind, our government will now have to pull out all the stops which could include a joint effort involving America to get her released.

luluaugust Mon 26-Apr-21 14:22:14

If we pay this debt, what is to say they will let her go? Can someone tell me why what we owe this debt for.

Whitewavemark2 Mon 26-Apr-21 14:22:24

It is simple pay our debt and she will be released. The U.K. government have known that all along.

Whitewavemark2 Mon 26-Apr-21 14:23:21


If we pay this debt, what is to say they will let her go? Can someone tell me why what we owe this debt for.

That will be negotiated.

We owe the money for tanks that we never delivered and for which Iran paid for up front.

eazybee Mon 26-Apr-21 14:25:11

Iran says we owe them £450 million.

If the UK does pay they will immediately demand more.
It is a hostage situation, and someone else will be taken. it is a dreadful situation.

MaizieD Mon 26-Apr-21 14:25:14


Tanks ordered by the Shah of Iran shock

Never delivered (because of the coup). Iran wants its money back.

TBH, I don't blame them.

MayBee70 Mon 26-Apr-21 14:26:30

We were just talking about this today. DH shouted upstairs to me that her sentence had been extended. We’re both appalled by what is happening to this poor woman. My fear is that she will die in prison. And, yes, we should repay that money. What right have we got to hold onto money that isn’t ours.

kjmpde Mon 26-Apr-21 14:28:15

Boris did not help with the original sentence when he said she was a journalist giving out training. So why would he help now?
Boris should hang his head in shame but he will not
This poor woman and her family have suffered so much already . I don't think either side are honourable but I do pray that she will be let go very soon

MaggsMcG Mon 26-Apr-21 14:28:36

Its not just the money, its very political too. There are nuclear issues apparently the rest of the world are trying to prevent. Its not just the UK either there's a lot of other countries involved politically. Paying any of the money back is giving them the money to produce nuclear power which can lead to weapons being made in secret. Even it UK paid the money back if we could afford it after the pandemic I bet they would still find a way to keep her there.

Chardy Mon 26-Apr-21 14:28:42

In the 1970s, the Shah paid for tanks up front. UK delivered some, but then came the Revolution and UK didn't send the rest
'The Iranians, now under the stewardship of the Ayatollah Khomeini, asked for £450m of the £650m total back. Britain ignored them, sold some of the tanks to Saddam Hussein (who promptly used them against Iran) and continued about its business.

Except it didn’t. Iran’s current government might have a certain reputation in the West, but it is still protected by the law.

Thus began three decades of legal wrangling in a trade court in the Netherlands, leading to a decision, eventually, in 2009 that Britain should repay the money.'

MaizieD Mon 26-Apr-21 14:28:47

She should never have been jailed in the first place..

She might very well not have been jailed had not our helpful Foreign Secretary at the time told Iran that she was 'training journalists' (aka spying) during her visit.

I don't quite remember who that Foreign Sec. was... Can anyone help me? hmm

Whitewavemark2 Mon 26-Apr-21 14:28:52


Iran says we owe them £450 million.

If the UK does pay they will immediately demand more.
It is a hostage situation, and someone else will be taken. it is a dreadful situation.

The difference is though that we owe them the money and it isn’t ransom.

They are using Ratcliffe as leverage to try and get us to pay our debt.

EllanVannin Mon 26-Apr-21 14:29:06

Which is why Boris Johnson will be in talks with America as to the next move.

luluaugust Mon 26-Apr-21 14:29:12

Thank you whitewave it does seem we should have paid up long ago.

Whitewavemark2 Mon 26-Apr-21 14:30:02


Which is why Boris Johnson will be in talks with America as to the next move.


Urmstongran Mon 26-Apr-21 14:31:22


This from the Express newspaper March 2021:

Nazanin was arrested at Tehran Airport on trumped-up charges of spying on April 3, 2016. Frankly, it’s a wonder that something similar hadn’t happened earlier.

Because we owe Iran money. Lots of money. Roughly £400million. Why? Because the Shah of Iran paid cash up front for a delivery of British-built Chieftain tanks, just before he was overthrown in 1979. We subsequently refused to ship those tanks to the new regime – reasonably enough – but we also held on to the dosh. Not reasonable.

For years Britain stonewalled Iran’s increasingly furious demands for the money’s return, and in 2008 the dispute went to independent international arbitration.

We lost. Unequivocally. Judges ruled that the UK was in the wrong and the money had to be returned at once. But instead of accepting this verdict with good grace, Britain quibbled, sidestepped, ducked and weaved like a dodgy car salesman.”

So subsequent governments over many years have just refused to pay?? Shocking.

Whitewavemark2 Mon 26-Apr-21 14:36:13

The difference now though is that a young mother is suffering terribly because of our behaviour,

NanKate Mon 26-Apr-21 14:43:45

What’s to say they won’t come up with more trumped up charges in a year’s time. That poor woman and her family.

I believe there are others in prison there too who should have been released. It is a never ending nightmare.

Whitewavemark2 Mon 26-Apr-21 14:45:35

The government knows that if they repay the money Ratcliffewill be released, they have said as much since her imprisonment.

trisher Mon 26-Apr-21 15:05:34

It's quite simple the Americans have told us not to. The US sanctions against Iran have caused problems for Iranian students studying in the UK who have been unable to pay fees, many european banks have been fined by the US and the latest thing is they have blocked funding and stopped Covid vaccine to Iran.

suziewoozie Mon 26-Apr-21 15:33:07

Poor woman - and poor husband and daughter. A little while ago I read about ideas to pay the debt by providing goods in kind allowed under the sanctions such as COVID vaccines but that idea seems to have disappeared. The despair they must all be feeling - it’s like the Cat and Mouse tactics used against the suffragettes. The emotional toil must be horrendous. Pretty heartless to post we shouldn’t pay up because they’ll just want more.