Johnson to visit Iran after blunder threatens to lengthen jailed Briton's sentence
Johnson told a parliamentary committee last week that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was training journalists in Iran when she was arrested for alleged sedition last year, something her employer and her family insist is incorrect.
She appeared in court on Saturday to face further charges, brought in early October, that carry a 16-year jail term.
The Iranian judiciary issued an online article on Sunday saying that Johnson's comments proved that she wasn't on holiday, as claimed, backing the justification for new charges.
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A Foreign Office spokesman said Johnson's comments may have been "misrepresented" and provided "no justifiable basis" for additional charges.
Johnson called Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday in a bid to defuse the situation.
"The Foreign Secretary concluded by emphasising that his remarks could form no justifiable basis for further action in this case and urged the Iranian authorities to release Mrs Zaghari Ratcliffe on humanitarian grounds," a Foreign Office spokesman told The New Arab.
"He set out his intention to visit Iran before the end of the year to discuss the case further".
'Not good enough'
Richard Ratcliffe, the detainee's husband, told AFP that Johnson "made a factual error, and then it felt more ominous on Sunday when that factual error was being used to justify her detention".
He said that Johnson's phone call to his Iranian counterpart was "not good enough" and that he needed to officially correct the record to send a message to Iran's judiciary.
"He made a statement in parliament that's being manipulated; another statement in parliament is the natural way of clarifying that".
He added that Saturday's court appearance had left his wife "very stressed and upset".
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), the media organisation's philanthropic arm, was arrested at Tehran airport on April 3, 2016 after visiting family.
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards accused her of having taken part in the "sedition movement" of protests that followed the disputed 2009 re-election of then hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe denies the charges.
She is serving a five-year jail sentence in Tehran but last month was presented with extra charges carrying a possible 16-year prison term, her employers said.
TRF said those charges were that she had joined organisations specifically working to overthrow the regime, referring to her media charity work in London, and that she once attended a demonstration outside the Iranian embassy in Britain's capital.
Pressure to quit
Following Johnson's comments, TRF chief executive Monique Villa urged him to "immediately correct the serious mistake".
"She is not a journalist and has never trained journalists at the TRF where she is project manager," Villa said in a statement.
"She was in Iran on holiday to show her daughter Gabriella to her grandparents."
Emily Thornberry, foreign affairs spokeswoman for the main opposition Labour Party, wrote to Johnson urging him to quit if his actions have damaged Zaghari-Ratcliffe's prospects of freedom.
"I hope and trust you will take full responsibility for that," she said in a letter published by Politics Home.
Liberal Democrats leader Vince Cable said Johnson's "crass comments" could cost Zagheri-Ratcliffe "years in jail".
"When will @TheresaMayPM sack this dangerous clown?" he wrote on Twitter.
Conservative MP Anna Soubry said the consequences of Johnson's remarks were "appalling".
"In 'normal' times Boris Johnson wld have been sacked long ago", she wrote on social media.