Middle East correspondent
British-Australian academic Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert was jailed in Iran on dubious spying charges 
British-Australian academic Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert was jailed in Iran on dubious spying charges  Credit: Nick Razzell

三级成人视频Iran announced it would pardon more than 10,000 prisoners on Thursday as hopes began to rise that Britons and other foreigners held hostage by the regime would soon be released due to the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Iranian state TV, political prisoners will be among those set free as part of wider measures to tackle the coronavirus, which has already killed more than 1,100 people in the country. 

Some Iranian dissident groups say they believe the actual figure is far higher, and may have exceeded 6,000 deaths. 

It follows Iran's decision to temporarily release around 85,000 prisoners, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British mother who has been moved from the notorious Evin prison to house arrest at her parents' home.

Iran's health ministry has warned that the coronavirus is spreading so rapidly through the country that it is infecting 50 Iranians per hour, and that one Iranian is dying "every ten minutes" on average. 

三级成人视频The severity of the outbreak has been partly exacerbated by crippling US-led sanctions on the Iranian economy, along with severe shortages in medical supplies such as ventilators. 

三级成人视频It was not immediately clear on Thursday if the pardons would extend to Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe or Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a British-Australian academic who has also been jailed in Iran on dubious espionage charges.

Dr Moore-Gilbert has not yet been temporarily released as part of Iran's measures to ease pressure on prisons. 

In addition, Kamal Foroughi, a British-Iranian businessman, was imprisoned by Iran on spying charges in 2013, as well British-Iranian citizen Anoosh Ashoori in 2017. 

Ms Zaghari Ratcliffe was released on a two-week furlough earlier this week, which her family hopes will be extended so that she can serve the rest of her sentence outside of prison. 

Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin's husband, has called on Britain to help Iran tackle the epidemic to build up trust in pursuit of her permanent release, as well as other foreign citizens.