Family seeks return of Navy veteran detained in Iran

Family seeks return of Navy veteran detained 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 USA citizen who is believed to have been detained since July.

Michael White flew from Los Angeles to Dubai on July 9, and then on to Iran, his mother said.

White's mother told the Times that her son never made it to his flight out of Iran.

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.

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

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

She said that she learned from the State Department that he was imprisoned in Iran on unclear charges. The State Department told her three weeks ago that he's now in an Iranian prison, the report said.

She said she is anxious about his health, because he has had cancer and suffers from asthma.

She said her son had visited Iran "five or six times" to see his girlfriend.

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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. He just got over cancer and I'm anxious about his condition.

He was visiting a woman whom he said was his girlfriend, she said.

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.

We have no higher priority than the safety and security of USA citizens overseas. We have no higher priority than the safety and security of USA citizens overseas.

The State Department confirmed an American was detained but did not provide details. The Islamic Republic has accused the three men of various crimes associated with espionage or "infiltration", but their families and US officials say they are being held as leverage in the political standoff between the two nations.CBS News senior foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Brennan notes that President Trump has often criticized his predecessor President Barack Obama for negotiating the release of American prisoners from Iran.

Siamak Namazi, and his father, Baquer Namazi, are Iranian-Americans who have been detained since October 2015 and February 2016, respectively.

Iran has released Americans and other foreign nationals in recent years.

The last time Iran released US citizens from its prisons was when the nuclear agreement took effect in January 2016.

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