Iran Confirms It's Holding U.S. Navy Veteran

10 January, 2019, 17:28 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the death anniversary of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran Iran

The US and Iran do not maintain diplomatic relations, and communications between the two nations are passed along by Swiss diplomats.

She reported her son's disappearance after he failed to return in July but learned from the State Department only three weeks ago that he was being held in Iran.

A Department of State spokesperson told the BBC: "We are aware of reports of the detention of a U.S. citizen in Iran".

"His arrest was communicated early through Interests Section of The Islamic Republic of Iran to the United States government".

White's family said he suffers from acute asthma and shortly before his latest visit to Iran he underwent chemotherapy for a neck tumour.

Iran had not confirmed the arrest before the state news agency IRNA carried a statement by foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Wednesday, which did not specify when it had happened or what crime he was accused of.

White said she did not intend to release further details because she was anxious about the complexity of her son's case in Iran.

"The case of this person is being handled by the relevant authorities and at the conclusion of this process they will issue the necessary information", Ghasemi was further quoted as saying on his Telegram account.

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Ghasemi denied allegations that White, who hails from Imperial Beach, California, has been mistreated in prison.

Xiyue Wang, a China-born U.S. citizen and Princeton University graduate student, was detained in August 2016 while doing scholarly research and studying Farsi, the university said.

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

New details are emerging about an American Navy veteran being held captive in Iran.

White is the fourth American known to be held by Iran, according to CBS News. Wang was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of spying, the Iranian government said in 2017.

President Trump's hardline stance - exiting the nuclear deal and sanctioning Iran - has not stopped it from continuing to detain three other Americans, including Siamak Namazi and his 82-year-old father.

The last time Iran released any imprisoned Americans was when the worldwide accord on Iran's nuclear programme took effect in January 2016.

Christine Levinson's husband, former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Bob Levinson, has been missing in Iran since 2007.

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