US Navy veteran has been in Iran prison for months

American Navy veteran Michael R. White 46 was detained in Iran after visiting his Iranian girlfriend whose identity remains unknown his mother said

Washington: A USA military veteran is being held in Iran where he was visiting his girlfriend, a report said Tuesday, posing a fresh issue in the two countries┬┤ thorny relations.

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

A US Navy veteran has been held in an Iranian prison on unspecified charges since July, his mother told The New York Times on Monday.

IranWire had quoted a former Iranian prisoner as saying that while in prison, he had met White in a prison in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad. "It's very scary to me", she told CBS News on Tuesday. She told The Times that State Department officials notified her in December that her son was being held in an Iranian prison. She said she filed a missing person report after he failed to return to work in California in late July.

"I'm very anxious about his health". Lupe White said he has had an online relationship with a woman in Iran for six years and would go see her for two weeks at a time. He just got over cancer and I'm anxious about his condition.

The US State Department said it was "aware of reports" of the detention but declined details, citing privacy considerations.

In the absence of relations, the Swiss Embassy represents U.S. diplomatic interests in Iran.

"All I know is that he is alive and they were putting in a request for a consular visit by the Swiss". "The last time I had contact with him was July 13th".

Asked about White's case on Tuesday, a State Department spokesperson would only tell CBS News that the USA government was, "aware of reports of the detention of a US citizen in Iran". The State Department advises Americans not to travel to Iran "due to the risk of arbitrary arrest and detention".

In May 2018, the USA withdrew from a nuclear pact with Iran and reinstated sanctions against the country.

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.

In January 2016, Iran released four Americans as part of a prisoners swap, including Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post's Tehran bureau chief, Saeed Abedini, a pastor from Idaho, and Amir Hekmati, a former Marine from Flint, Michigan.

White would be one of several USA citizens and other foreign nationals held in Iran.

The last time Iran released US citizens from its prisons was when the nuclear agreement took effect in January 2016.

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