Tuesday, 25 June, 2019

Family seeks return of Navy veteran detained in Iran

American Navy veteran held in Iranian prison since July on unspecified charges: report U.S. Confirms: Iran Imprisoned U.S. Navy Vet for Past Six Months
Deanna Wagner | 10 January, 2019, 20:45

The U.S. State Department would not confirm reports on Tuesday that another American has been detained in Iran.

His mother, Joanne White, told the newspaper the 46-year-old veteran went to Iran to see his girlfriend (pair seen above) and had booked a July 27 flight back home to San Diego.

Joanne White told the Times, "All I know is that he is alive, and they were putting in a request for a consular visit by the Swiss".

White, 46, was detained in Iran after visiting his Iranian girlfriend, his mother told the New York Times on Monday.

"Michael White was arrested in the city of Mashhad a while ago, and within a few days after his arrest the U.S. government was informed of the arrest through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran", ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said.

She said that she learned from the State Department that he was imprisoned in Iran on unclear charges.

White's mother, Joanne White, told the Times that she had filed a missing-person report and had been in touch with the U.S. State Department and Department of Homeland Security.

"I'm very anxious about his health".

After an Iranian news agency overseas reported that another American has been incarcerated in Iran, the New York Times confirmed the news by speaking to his Family. He just got over cancer and I'm anxious about his condition.

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CNN has sought comment from the governments of Iran and Switzerland, which represents the United States' diplomatic interests in Iran.

Michael White's wife, Lupe White, said she last saw her husband July 9 and he texted her a day later saying he was on a business trip for two weeks.

The Swiss have provided consular services for Americans in Iran since 1980 when the USA cut off diplomatic ties with Tehran.

The State Department confirmed an American was detained but did not provide details.

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 US government.

In May 2018, the USA withdrew from a nuclear pact with Iran and reinstated sanctions against the country.

In January 2016, Iran released four Americans as part of a prisoners swap, including Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post's Tehran bureau chief, Saeed Abedini, a pastor from Idaho, and Amir Hekmati, a former Marine from Flint, Michigan.

In January 2016, Iran freed four U.S. prisoners - Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, Marine veteran Amir Hekmati, Christian pastor Saeed Abedin, and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari - in exchange for the USA granting clemency to seven Iranians indicted or imprisoned in the United States.