Iran Claims to be Holding US Navy Veteran

  • Iran Claims to be Holding US Navy Veteran

Iran Claims to be Holding US Navy Veteran

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

"The New York Times has quoted White's mother saying she learned three weeks ago that her son is alive and being held at an Iranian prison".

The New York Times reported on Monday that White, a 46-year-old former USA sailor, was arrested while visiting Iran and had been held since July on unspecified charges.

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

It is unclear when the United States was informed of White's arrest but his mother has told reporters that he went missing in July.

Ghasemi said White has not been abused or mistreated, calling the former prisoner's allegations "psychological warfare", according to the AP.

"I'm very anxious about his health", she said, according to CBS News. "Due to privacy considerations, we have no additional information to provide at this time". She filed a missing-person report and had been communicating with the State Department and Department of Homeland Security.

Xiyue Wang, a China-born USA citizen and Princeton University graduate student, was detained in August 2016 while doing scholarly research and studying Farsi, the university said. His family said he's been held captive since last summer.

Sources tell CBS News that Iran is holding the Americans to try and extract concessions such as those received in a deal reached with President Obama. Wang was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of spying, the Iranian government said in 2017.

In January 2016, Iran freed four USA prisoners - Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, Marine veteran Amir Hekmati, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari - in exchange for the U.S. granting clemency to seven Iranians indicted or imprisoned in the United States.

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

Sources told CBS News that Iran is holding the U.S. nationals to try to win concessions such as those received in a deal reached with former President Barack Obama.

Relations between the United States and Iran have been strained since President Donald Trump withdrew from an worldwide agreement on Iran's nuclear programme.