A man whose wife has been jailed in Iran on "secret charges" spoke out this morning on Happening Now, hoping to bring attention to the case of British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

After being detained for months with no formal charges, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced this month to five years in prison, said her husband, Richard Ratcliffe.

According to AP, she is the only dual-national known to have been convicted in a string of detentions by Iran after the nuclear deal with the U.S. and other world powers.

Ratcliffe told Jenna Lee that his wife was detained at the airport in Tehran as she tried to leave the country in April. The couple has a two-year-old daughter, Gabriella, and he said they have traveled to Iran frequently in recent years to visit her family. 

He was not on the trip in which his wife was detained, but he has not seen his daughter in six months. The toddler was given to her grandmother while her mother was taken away over a "passport problem."

Ratcliffe said his wife worked on a journalism training program for the charity Thomson Reuters Foundation. But he said his wife was not working in Iran when she was arrested.

Ratcliffe said it was 38 days before Nazanin was allowed a visit with her family after her disappearance started making headlines.

"She was kept in solitary confinement and was being interrogated, where they blindfold you. ... In that [family] visit, she was very weak, she couldn't stand up," he recalled.

Iran released several Americans, including reporter Jason Rezaian, pastor Saeed Abedini and Marine veteran Amir Hekmati, in January as part of a prisoner swap.

Former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished in Iran in 2007 while reportedly working for the CIA, remains missing. 

Critics have since called out the Obama administration over a $400 million payment to Iran, calling it a "ransom" for the release of the American hostages.

Watch the full interview above.


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