Iran has been holding a US Navy veteran since July

Pauline Gross
January 10, 2019

Reports have said that the Swiss embassy in Tehran is now following White's case as a USA interest portfolio in Iran.

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.

Iran has not yet made public the arrest of White and no specific charges have been made clear.

Shortly after the reports, CNN interviewed Michael White's mother, Joanne White.

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.

According to his family, White had traveled to Iran three times to visit an Iranian woman believed to be his girlfriend.

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

"We have no higher priority than the safety and security of USA citizens overseas. Due to privacy considerations, we have no additional information to provide at this time".

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The case was referred to a local prosecutor, and a judge issued a warrant for Mason's arrest in July a year ago . Kelly now faces a new criminal investigation in Georgia, where he has been accused of running a sex cult.

He added, "Michael is kept among risky criminals including murderers and professional drug smugglers and his life is in danger". She filed a missing-person report and had been communicating with the State Department and Department of Homeland Security.

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

In July 2017, Iran said that it had detained Chinese-American, Xiyue Wang, a Princeton graduate student who was conducting research in Iran.

She is anxious about her 46-year-old son's health because he has had cancer and suffers from asthma, she said. White at Iran's Vakilabad Prison in the city of Mashhad.

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 USA government.

United States officials have also pushed Iran for information about the whereabouts of Robert Levinson, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and Central Intelligence Agency contractor who went missing in Iran in 2007.

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

At least three other American citizens are being held in Iran.

Other reports by GizPress

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