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U.S. military veteran held in Iran
10 January 2019, 08:48 | Glen Norman
U.S. military veteran held in Iran
AMMAN, Jordan-The Trump administration acknowledged that Iran has been imprisoning an American Navy member for the past six months, confirming recent press reports about the US citizen who is believed to have been detained since July.
His mother, Joanne White, told the newspaper the 46-year-old veteran went to Iran to see his girlfriend and had booked a July 27 flight back home to San Diego via the United Arab Emirates.
The family of U.S. Navy veteran Michael White of California told CBS News that the State Department had informed them that White was being held prisoner in Iran. It quoted a former Iranian prisoner who claimed to have met White at Vakilabad Prison. White is being held on unspecified charges, his mother told The Times.
She said that she learned from the State Department that he was imprisoned in Iran on unclear charges.
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"I'm very anxious about his health".
The New York Times noted that Iran did not acknowledge the arrest of Wang until July 2017. He just got over cancer and I'm anxious about his condition.
The State Department told his mother they had put in a request for a consular visit by the Swiss embassy, which represents the interests of the United States in Iran since diplomatic relations were severed almost 40 years ago after the hostage crisis.
Asked about White's case on Tuesday, a State Department spokesperson would only tell CBS News that the USA government was, "aware of reports of the detention of a US citizen in Iran". "I know he was visiting his girlfriend".
The spokesperson said no further information could be provided for privacy reasons. "The last time I had contact with him was July 13th".
Tensions have been high since U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of a landmark nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed crippling economic sanctions against Tehran previous year. The State Department advises Americans not to travel to Iran "due to the risk of arbitrary arrest and detention".
White would be one of several U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals held in Iran.
Baquer Namazi, a retired UNICEF official, and his son Siamak, an Iranian-American businessman, were sentenced in 2016 to 10 years in prison for spying and cooperating with the USA government. IranWire also says that two other prisoners confirmed the presence of an American.
In January 2016, Iran freed four U.S. prisoners - Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, Marine veteran Amir Hekmati, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari - in exchange for the USA granting clemency to seven Iranians indicted or imprisoned in the United States.
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