Iran releases American held since 2018 on medical furlough, State Dept. says

Source: New York Post

Michael White in an undated family photo
Michael White in an undated family photo. Reuters

A US Navy veteran held in Iran since 2018 and serving a 13-year sentence has been released on medical furlough, the State Department announced on Thursday.

Michael White of California was released on humanitarian grounds but must remain in Iran, a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

White is in the custody of the Swiss Embassy where he will undergo testing and evaluation.

“The United States will continue to work for Michael’s full release as well as the release of all wrongfully detained Americans in Iran,” the statement said.

Pompeo also called on Iran to release other Americans who are being held in Iran.

White was arrested after visiting a girlfriend in July 2018 when he was detained.

Iranian officials said he insulted Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and posted private information online.

A White family spokesman said they were thankful for Iran taking the “interim humanitarian step.”

“We continue to urge them to release Michael unconditionally so that he can return to the United States to receive the advanced medical care he needs,” spokesman Jon Franks said in a statement.

Iran is being ravaged by the coronavirus.

The Islamic Republic has more than 18,000 cases and 1,284 people have died.

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