By Claire Ellicott for the Daily Mail
Published: 21:59 GMT, 7 January 2020 | Updated: 09:12 GMT, 8 January 2020
Posing with a pink satchel made by her mummy, Gabriella Zaghari-Ratcliffe is ready for her first day at school
Posing with a pink satchel made by her mummy, Gabriella Zaghari-Ratcliffe is ready for her first day at school.
But what should be a happy milestone is instead tinged with sadness.
Gabriella's mother Nazanin is still thousands of miles away in an Iranian jail. It is there where she turned 41 last month, saw in a fourth Christmas behind bars – and made her daughter's bag.
Fears have grown for the British-Iranian charity worker – locked up on false spying charges – since the country's top military commander was assassinated on the orders of Donald Trump.
Her husband Richard says she is 'distraught' and worried about reprisals after the assassination, which threatens to plunge the Middle East into chaos.
He has asked Boris Johnson for an urgent meeting after the Mail revealed last month that the Prime Minister had agreed to see him.
Yesterday was another difficult moment for the family after Gabriella, now five, returned to the UK last year to begin school.
Mr Ratcliffe was the one to brush her hair – something his wife had always said she wanted to do when Gabriella first went to school. 'The moment wasn't bittersweet exactly,' he said. 'It's a different kind of emotional challenge for Nazanin.'
'I think it's more that as our lives move on and there's the excitement of that, she feels more the sense that she's never coming out. I think she notices the milestones in a way that she wasn't before Gabriella came home.
Brief reunion: Gabriella with her mother Nazanin, who was released for three days in August 2018