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US Navy Veteran Held by Iran for Six Months

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A woman signs a banner in support of Amir Hekmati May 19, 2014 during a vigil held in Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington, DC. The vigil was held on the 1,000th day of Amir's imprisonment in Iran. Amir is an Iranian-American detained in Iran while visiting his grandmother. Falsely accused of being a spy, he was detained in August of 2011, held in solitary confinement for months and hidden by the walls of Iran's Evin prison. He was sentenced to death in January of 2012, the first American to receive the death penalty in Iran in over 33 years. (Photo: KAREN BLEIER / AFP / Getty Images)
A woman signs a banner in support of Amir Hekmati May 19, 2014 during a vigil held in Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington, DC. The vigil was held on the 1,000th day of Amir’s imprisonment in Iran. Amir is an Iranian-American detained in Iran while visiting his grandmother. Falsely accused of being a spy, he was detained in August of 2011, held in solitary confinement for months and hidden by the walls of Iran’s Evin prison. He was sentenced to death in January of 2012, the first American to receive the death penalty in Iran in over 33 years. (Photo: KAREN BLEIER / AFP / Getty Images)

Iran is holding a US Navy veteran from Imperial Beach, California, according to the man’s mother. Joanne White says Michael, 46, disappeared in July 2018 and was arrested on unspecified charges. He was visiting Iran to see his girlfriend.

At least three other Americans are currently serving jail sentences in Iran.

My heart aches for him…I just want to see him home safe and sound,” Joanne told CNN, adding that he has had cancer in the past and suffers from asthma.

The State Department told White her son was in a prison when officials spoke with her three weeks ago, she said.

Relations between Washington and Tehran continue to plummet as Iran expands its influence across the Middle East and beyond. Currently, the Islamic Republic has a strong say in the domestic affairs of Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Iran is flexing its muscles on two other fronts. It’s planning joint naval exercises with Russia in the Caspian Sea in the “near future.” Tehran also intends dispatching warships to the Atlantic in March – close to American waters.

 

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