A British woman could face execution for posting derogatory comments about the Iranian government on Facebook.

Roya Saberi Negad Nobakht, 47, from Stockport, has been detained in an Iranian prison and charged with "insulting Islamic sanctities", a crime punishable by death.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said it is "urgently" examining Nobakht's case, yet negotiations are difficult as Britain has no embassy in Iran.

Daryoush Taghipoor, Nobakht's husband who is currently in Iran, said his wife was arrested for commenting that the Iranian government was being "too Islamic" in a Facebook group. He claimed that she had only been charged after making a confession "under duress".

The couple have dual British-Iranian nationality and have lived in the Stockport suburb of Heald Green for six years.

According to her husband, Nobakht was arrested last October during a visit to see relatives in Tehran. Two weeks into her trip, she flew to the city of Shiraz in the southwest of the country to visit a friend, where she was arrested at the airport.

The Independent reported that she was taken back to Tehran and charged with "gathering and participation with intent to commit crime against national security" as well as "insulting Islamic sanctities".

Taghipoor told the Manchester Evening News: "It's a very bad situation. We don't know what's going on. Roya is not well at all. She has lost three stone and is frightened. She is scared that the government will kill her."

He added: "Roya is not a political activist in any way. She is just a normal citizen. The authorities don't clarify why she has been arrested and Daryoush insists the charges are based on a confession extracted from Roya under duress. The government needs to do all that is feasible to get the release of this innocent British citizen."

Ajay Sharma, head of the Iran Department at the FCO is currently mediating between the two countries as part of an agreement made in February.

Nobakht's situation came to the department's attention after her husband approached his former employer Nasser Homayoun-Fekri, who wrote a letter to his local MP Andrew Stunnel.

Stunnel, MP for Hazel Grove, said he was "concerned about this arbitrary arrest" and requested that the FCO "make inquiries on her behalf".

It is understood that Nobakht has been detained at Evin prison in Tehran, infamous for its brutal treatment of inmates. The institution has been dubbed "Evin University" due to the number of intellectuals that the prison has housed.

It is noted for its political prisoners wing, which has held prisoners both before and after the 1979 Iranian Revolution.