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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe hugs and kisses daughter in emotional reunion

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ears of joy were shed as the families of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori were reunited with their loved ones in the early hours of Thursday morning after years of a “long and cruel separation” caused by their detention in Iran.

The pair touched down on British soil at RAF Brize Norton at just after 1am, and a video shared on social media showed the emotional homecoming as Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe hugged and kissed her young daughter and Mr Ashoori’s family sobbed.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, whose husband Richard has long campaigned for her release, left Iran with fellow British-Iranian Mr Ashoori, 67, on Wednesday after their release was secured.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained for six years after being accused of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government.

Mr Ashoori, who was detained in Evin prison for almost five years, was accused of spying.

Both have consistently and vigorously denied the allegations.

The pair smiled and chatted as they walked from the aircraft into a reception building at the airport.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was wearing a navy dress and coat, with a bright yellow shawl and matching handbag, waved to the cameras, while Mr Ashoori, who was carrying a magazine, gave a salute and a peace sign.

Mr Ashoori appeared to be taking photos with the pilots in the cockpit on the plane, as they waited to disembark.

Screengrab of a tweet posted by Elika Ashoori of her father Anoosheh Ashoori and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe being reunited with their families (Elika Ashoori/PA) / PA Media

He could be seen posing with two men through the windows of the cockpit.

An emotional video was shared live on Instagram by Mr Ashoori’s daughter Elika as the pair disembarked the plane.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s seven-year-old daughter Gabriella was heard asking “is that mummy?” and again shouted “mummy” as her mother walked down the plane’s stairs.

Mr Ratcliffe shook Mr Ashoori’s hand, as Gabriella appeared to run towards her mother, who was out of shot. She then carried the little girl in her arms as they were surrounded by other family members.

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