Published: Thu, January 10, 2019

Iran dismisses as 'lies' reports about U.S. citizen

Iran dismisses as 'lies' reports about U.S. citizen

"We are aware of reports of the detention of a USA citizen in Iran".

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

After he didn't board his flight back to San Diego via the United Arab Emirates last July, his mother, Joan White, filed a missing persons report.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency reported the confirmation about California native Michael White, 46, quoting Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi.

According to Farhadi, White said he became acquainted with an Iranian girl online and traveled to Iran three times to visit her.

Ghasemi said White has not been abused or mistreated, calling the former prisoner's allegations "psychological warfare", according to the AP.

Xiyue Wang, a China-born United States citizen and Princeton University graduate student, was detained in August 2016 while doing scholarly research and studying Farsi, the university said. "Due to privacy considerations, we have no additional information to provide at this time".

That was according to a former detainee, Ivar Farhadi, who said Mr White's life was in danger because the jail contained risky inmates.

She said the State Department had not contacted her and she was unaware he was in prison until reached by CNN.

Siamak Namazi, another son of Baquer, is being held following a clandestine trial in which he was convicted of collaborating with a hostile state.

It was based on the account of a former Iranian prisoner who said he met Mr White at Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad in October.

"I'm very anxious about his health", White's mother told CBS on Tuesday.

The network reported that it learned that Iran suggested a possible prisoner exchange previous year, but State Department officials will not say whether the Trump administration is willing to negotiate.

The last time Iran released any imprisoned Americans was when the global accord on Iran's nuclear programme took effect in January 2016.

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

At least three other American citizens, two of whom are of Iranian descent, have been under arrest in Iran for years while another American has been missing for more than a decade.

Speaking about the relations between countries, Iran leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called US officials "first-class idiots" Wednesday.

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