Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Iran Claims to be Holding US Navy Veteran

Rouhani speaks during a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan after their meeting in Ankara Turkey Iran holding jailed Americans for leverage, sources say
Kenny Thornton | 10 January, 2019, 17:30

"An American citizen named Michael White was arrested in the city of Mashhad a while ago and the US Interests Section in Tehran was informed in the first days" since his arrest, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi told reporters Wednesday.

Switzerland represents US diplomatic interests in the country, as ties between the USA and Iran were cut after Tehran held American diplomats hostage.

Iranian officials said Mr White was detained in the city of Mashhad, in the north-east of the country.

"This person's case is now being processed by officials".

Joanne White told the New York Times her son, a California resident, suffers acute asthma and had had chemotherapy and radiation treatment for a neck tumour.

"I'm very anxious about his health", she said, according to CBS News.

The case is likely to further worsen relations with the United States.

"Due to privacy considerations, we have no additional information to provide at this time", the representative said.

He was visiting a woman whom he said was his girlfriend, she said.

Michael White's wife, Lupe White, said she last saw her husband July 9, and he texted her a day later saying he was on a business trip for two weeks.

Dollar falls for a third day on rate pause bets
Palladium, meanwhile, slipped 0.6 percent to $1,292.90 an ounce after touching a record high of $1,313.24 earlier in the session. The dollar outperformed other currencies in 2018 due to the Fed being the only major central bank to hike rates.

She said that her son had previously traveled to Iran to meet his girlfriend but that there was no problems, unlike the last time. Wang was later sentenced for espionage charges.

"I still love him". White said she talked to police at her home.

Michael White is one of several United States citizens and other foreign nationals held in Iran.

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. American officials have demanded their release, saying the father and son did nothing wrong.

"We have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas".

He also re-imposed sanctions previous year that damaged Iran's economy. USA officials have demanded his release.

Christine Levinson's husband, former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Bob Levinson, has been missing in Iran since 2007. Iran has denied having anything to do with his disappearance and said it doesn't know where he is.

Four Americans were arrested before Trump took office and are still being held captive in Iran.

Several US citizens have been held in Iran in recent years, with Mr Trump warning in 2017 that Tehran would face "new and serious consequences" unless all unjustly held American citizens were freed.

Tensions have been high since U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of a landmark nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed crippling economic sanctions against Tehran previous year.

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