US Navy veteran has been in Iran prison for months

US Navy veteran has been in Iran prison for months

"The last time I had contact with him was July 13th".

The New York Times reported on Monday that Michael R. White, a 46-year-old US Navy veteran, was seized while visiting Iran and has been held in jail since July on unspecified charges.

The spokesperson said no further information could be provided for privacy reasons. She noted that her son has undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatment for a neck tumor and is suffering from asthma.

The State Department confirmed an American was detained but did not provide details.

A State Department spokesperson said that they are "aware" of the New York Times report.

The manager claimed White's wife told her he was in Iran to visit his girlfriend when he was detained.

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

Michael White is one of several United States citizens and other foreign nationals held in Iran. Those strains have increased since May when the United States withdrew from a nuclear deal and reinstated sanctions against the country. She told The Times that State Department officials notified her in December that her son was being held in an Iranian prison.

She and her husband, who have been married for nearly 15 years, have discussed divorce, she said, but she was hoping they had strengthened their relationship in the past six months as she helped him through his chemotherapy.

Iran is also holding at least three other prisoners: Siamak and Baquer Namazi, an Iranian-American father and son who were convicted in a closed-door trial after being arrested in February 2016, and Xiyue Wang, a grad student at Princeton who was arrested in August 2016.

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. His family sued Iran over his disappearance in 2017. Xiyue Wang, a Chinese-born USA citizen and graduate student from Princeton University, was arrested in Iran in 2016. U.S. officials have demanded his release. Iranian officials have repeatedly denied knowledge of his disappearance or whereabouts.

Last month, the families of seven political prisoners being held in Iran wrote an open letter to world leaders, rights organizations and media outlets asking for urgent action in the prisoners' release.

A former detainee in Iran, Ivar Farhadi, told the London-based IranWire website he had spoken to White when they were both at Vakilabad Prison in the city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran.

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

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

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