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Report: US Navy Vet Detained in Iran Since July


A U.S. Navy Veteran has been in Iranian prison since July on unspecified charges, according the New York Times.

According to his family, Michael R. White, 46, from Imperial Beach, California, was due to return from Iran where he was visiting his girlfriend on July 27, but never boarded his plane, the Times reported.

White's mother, Joanne White, told the Times that she had filed a missing-person report and had been in touch with the U.S. State Department and Department of Homeland Security. Only in recent weeks did State Department officials inform her that he was in an Iranian prison, White said.

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

"We have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens abroad. Due to privacy considerations, we have no additional information to provide at this time," the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Washington has repeatedly called on Tehran to release American detainees, including Iranian-Americans Siamak Namazi and his father Baquer Namazi, Chinese-American Xiyue Wang, and Lebanese U.S. permanent resident Nizar Zakka.

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.

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