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The Foreign Secretary and the Foreign Office expressed reservations, and we agreed that there are some questions that we have sent from the lawyers.'They have agreed to answer the questions and then for the lawyers to sit down and talk it through.
Ahead of the meeting, Mr Johnson had repeated his promise that he would 'leave no stone unturned' in efforts to secure Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release.
A government spokeswoman said: 'This is a long standing case and relates to contracts signed over 40 years ago with the pre-revolution Iranian regime.'Funding to settle the debt was paid to the high court by the Treasury in 2002.
Iran's Ministry of Defence remains subject to EU sanctions.'It is wrong to link a completely separate debt issue with any other aspect of our bilateral relationship with Iran.' Mr Ratcliffe yesterday urged Boris Johnson to abandon his 'softly softly' approach with Iran to secure his wife's release.
Mr Ratcliffe challenged him afterwards and said: 'It's important that where softly-softly doesn't work, where it has been escalated by the past couple of weeks' events and the Foreign Secretary's words being used, I think it is appropriate'.
Mr Ratcliffe, whose wife was arrested on spy charges last year while on holiday and jailed for five years, urged him to escalate the Government's support for her as the 'softly-softly' approach was not working.
Richard Ratcliffe said his hour-long meeting with the Foreign Secretary was 'positive and constructive' and he hoped his wife and daughter would be home by Christmas.