Iran says it is holding U.S. Navy veteran in prison

Evarado Alatorre
Enero 10, 2019

White is the fourth American being held by Iran, and while CBS News has learned that Iran floated the idea of a prisoner exchange a year ago, State Department officials will not say whether the Trump administration is willing to negotiate.

White's arrest follows Trump's May exit from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and reimposition of economic sanctions on the country in an attempt to get Iran back to the bargaining table.

Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, his mother, Joanne White, declined to discuss why her son was being held.

The Tasnim news agency reported the confirmation Wednesday night, quoting Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi.

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 State Department said it was aware of the reports but did not comment further. She said she filed a missing person report after he failed to return to work in California in late July.

Ghasemi said White has not been abused or mistreated, calling the former prisoner's allegations "psychological warfare", according to the AP. "Due to privacy considerations, we have no additional information to provide at this time".

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

CNN also cited Michael White's wife Lupe White as saying that the last time she saw his husband was on July 9, and on July 10, he sent her a message in which he wrote that he was on a business trip that would last for two weeks.

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

New details are emerging about an American Navy veteran being held captive in Iran. White at Iran's Vakilabad Prison in the city of Mashhad.

The network reported that it learned that Iran suggested a possible prisoner exchange previous year, but State Department officials will not say whether the Trump administration is willing to negotiate. About five months later, the State Department informed her that he's being held in an Iranian prison.

Those releases came months after the global deal to restrict Iran's nuclear program - the same deal from which the United States withdrew previous year.

At least four USA citizens and one US permanent resident are now being held by Iran. "I couldn't talk about him in Iran because I am a former political prisoner and that could put my life in danger".

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