Tuesday, 25 June, 2019

Iran says U.S. citizen White arrested, confirming earlier reports

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi
Deanna Wagner | 10 January, 2019, 17:31

USA interests are handled by the Swiss embassy in Tehran, as the two countries have not had diplomatic relations since 1980.

"An American citizen was arrested in the city of Mashhad some time ago and his case was conveyed to the U.S administration on the first days [of his incarceration]", Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said, according to the AP. "Due to privacy considerations, we have no additional information to provide at this time". "We have no higher priority than the safety and security of USA citizens overseas".

She said her son had visited Iran "five or six times" to see an Iranian woman she described as his girlfriend.

Farhadi told IranWire that White's life was in danger because he was being kept in a prison with risky criminals.

In another report on Tuesday, CBS News claimed the 46-year-old had been in detention since last summer and "was suffering psychologically and was being held in a ward with unsafe criminals".

Farhadi said he couldn't discuss whether White had been tortured because they were being watched.

Ivar Farhadi, a cyber-activist who spoke to CBS News, said Mr White had been arrested while preparing to fly to Turkey to marry his girlfriend.

The New York Times has quoted White's mother, Joanne, as saying she learned three weeks ago that her son was being held at an Iranian prison.

MPs defeat May, urge her to rule out 'no deal' Brexit
But the bloc refuses to reopen the agreement, and opposition to the negotiated deal remains strong among British lawmakers. MPs will begin five days of debate on the Brexit deal on Wednesday, before finally voting on it next Tuesday (15 January).

He had booked a return flight to San Diego for 27 July, she said.

"I'm very anxious about his health", White's mother told CBS on Tuesday.

She said the State Department had not contacted her and she was unaware he was in prison until reached by CNN.

"I didn't do what Obama did, give them $1.8 billion in cash to get back four hostages", Mr. Trump said in a United Nations address last September.

At least three more US citizens are being held in Iran, in addition to White.

Speaking about the relations between countries, Iran leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called USA officials "first-class idiots" Wednesday. "We're dealing with an 82-year-old man who has dedicated his entire life to serving humanity", Baquer's son Babak Namazi told NPR.

Since October 2015, it has also been holding Iranian-American Siamak Namazi.

According to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI), Vakilabad authorities conduct secret mass executions inside of the prison.