Richard, who qualified as an ICAEW chartered accountant in 2012 and works at BDO, was given the award yesterday evening at the Institute’s annual dinner, in recognition of his “exceptional commitment, sacrifice and resilience during his political campaign”.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained by the Iranian authorities while on holiday in April 2016 and from this point Richard campaigned tirelessly to bring her home.
During his six-year fight, Richard did not stop discussing the £400 million debt owed to Iran from the 1970s, which was repaid to return Nazanin to the UK in March 2022.
Commenting on receiving the award, Richard said:
“I was obviously surprised, but also delighted and deeply honoured to receive this award. I follow some much bigger footsteps than mine.
“The award raised a warm smile among colleagues I told. Some days it felt like I didn’t always get much accounting done these past years.
“But it was always about accountability. It turns out accounting’s focus on looking for the true and fair in everything is not just a good lesson for the day job, but also in the wider world when things matter the most.
“I am really grateful to have been supported by a very human and patient firm, and by many across the profession in quiet and less quiet ways.
“This award is a lovely way to mark the end of a long journey for Nazanin and me, and the beginning of a second chance at normal life.”
Julia Penny, ICAEW President, said:
"We’re delighted to honour Richard with the ICAEW Outstanding Achievement Award for 2023, in recognition of his exceptional commitment, sacrifice and resilience during his political campaign to free his wife Nazanin.
“Like others I was thrilled to see Nazanin return home last year and the family reunited, and on behalf of ICAEW I extend my warmest congratulations to Richard on his remarkable achievements.”
Paul Eagland, BDO's Managing Partner said:
“Richard is an inspiration to us at BDO. His relentless drive and calmness during such a unfathomable event is something I admire and cannot imagine enduring. We celebrate his individual achievement and are grateful to have him at the firm."
Notes to editors
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