Mother of Cancer-struck Navy veteran in Iran for espionage for the US & # 39 ;, urges Trump-admin to be released
The mother of a US Navy veteran detained in Iran since July said Friday that she is worried that her son undergoing cancer treatment will not survive imprisonment.
Joanne White expressed concern about the health of her son, the 46-year-old Michael White who went to Iran to visit his girlfriend and who was randomly held in the midst of tensions caused by President Donald Trump's campaign against Tehran.
Joanne has not been able to communicate with her son who made online contact with his Iranian partner for the first time and wants the governments of the United States and Iran to stop using her sick son in their political struggle.
& # 39; She is very concerned that he is not going to get it & # 39 ;, spokesman Jonathan Franks told The Associated Press.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the parent concerned is urging all parties to prevent her son from becoming a pawn in the political deadlock between the two countries & # 39;
Joanne White, the mother of a US Navy veteran Michael White, begs for his release from prison in Iran because he has to continue the treatment of cancer
The 46-year-old has been detained there since July when he visited his girlfriend in the country for about the fifth or sixth time.
He is the first American known as a prisoner on the board of Trump.
It came after Trump undoed the work of Barack Obama and withdrew from the nuclear deal with world powers and imposed sanctions once again that hit their economy hard.
The increasingly aggravated ties could be heard in the Wednesday of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who told Trump earlier that he "can not help it" to stop Iran.
& # 39; Some US officials claim they are crazy & # 39 ;, said Khamenei. & # 39; Of course I do not agree with that, but they are first class idiots. & # 39;
And this week, Mike Pompeo met with leaders in the Middle East and he took a new target in Iran with a speech in Cairo on how & # 39; radical Islamic terrorism does not stem from ideology & # 39 ;.
The US Secretary of State subsequently met Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, accompanied by US Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook.
It was in the capital of the United Arab Emirates where White had a stopover on his way home to California in July, but he was never on board the flight.
The family asked the American government to make the case a priority.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with leaders in the Middle East while President Donald Trump continues his campaign against Iran
Abu Dhabi's crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (C-R) spoke with Pompeo (C-L), who was accompanied by the US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook (L). It was in the capital of the UAE where White would fly in July.
WSJ reported spokesman Franks said: "Joanne White wants her son back, and she is seriously concerned that he will admit to his medical problems in prison. Michael has no part in the ongoing geopolitical conflict between the United States and Iran. & # 39;
The veterinarian's 13-year-old family complained that Mr White did not have access to consular services through neutral Switzerland, which acts as an intermediary in the absence of diplomatic relations in the US and Iran.
The family of Mr. White claimed that he & # 39; had been denied access to the & # 39; specialized medical care that he needs & # 39; for his neck tumor and asthma.
Iran Wire reported for the first time that Mr. White had been detained since July 2018 on Monday when the source said he met White in the Vakilabad prison in Mashhad in October. Mashhad is about 95 kilometers (60 miles) east of Tehran, the capital of Iran.
Then the semi-official Tasnim news agency, probably in the neighborhood of the paramilitary revolutionary guard of the country, confirmed Wednesday's news.
But a spokesman said the US government was fully aware of what was going on from the beginning, although they did not confirm whether he had been detained last summer.
It is believed that Iran has imprisoned him on suspicion of espionage, but his mother denied it and said that he left the navy a decade ago and was a cook. She asked the US to make his case a priority
"A US citizen was arrested some time ago in the city of Mashhad and his case was transferred to the US government in the first days," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said about the man's imprisonment.
The News Agency of the Islamic Republic said that White's case goes through the legal process and that officials make a statement at the right time, but denied that he had been treated badly and added: & # 39; This kind of reports are lies and inappropriate and are seriously rejected. & # 39;
Mr White's mother said she did not want to share the geopolitical climate between the US and Iran and says her son is being used as a pawn
The family said that Michael worked as a cook for the Navy and left the service about a decade ago. Denying that he is a spy or that he has never been one, the white man's representative revealed that he recently worked as a janitor.
Although the conditions of White's detention remain unclear, in the past Iran has used its detention of Westerners and double citizens as a lever in negotiations.
There are four other well-known American citizens who are held in Iran.
Iranian-American Siamak Namazi and his 82-year-old father Baquer, a former UNICEF representative who served as governor of the Iranian oil-rich Khuzestan province under the US-backed shah, both serve 10-year sentences on espionage costs.
The Iranian-American art dealer Karan Vafadari and his Iranian wife, Afarin Neyssari, received a prison sentence of respectively 27 and 16 years respectively.
The Chinese-American graduate student Xiyue Wang was sentenced to 10 years in prison because he allegedly infiltrated the country & # 39; during a PhD research into the Iranian Qajar dynasty.
Sino-American graduate Xiyue Wang (left) was sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly infiltrating & # 39; and the Iranian-American Siamak Namazi (right) received the same on spy costs
A billboard that promises a reward for information that leads to the recovery of the American FBI ex-agent Robert Levinson, in Herat, near the Iranian border, in Afghanistan, April 2012. He was missing in 2007
The Iranian-American Robin Shahini was released on bail in 2017 after a hunger strike when he served 18 years in prison for cooperation with a hostile government. A lawsuit filed on his behalf in the US district court in Washington says he has since returned to America.
Also in an Iranian prison is Nizar Zakka, a permanent resident of the US from Lebanon who supports internet freedom and has done work for the American government. He was sentenced to 10 years on espionage-related charges.
Former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran in 2007 while on an unauthorized CIA mission, is also omitted. Iran says that Levinson is not in the country and that it has no further information about him, although his family keeps Tehran responsible for his disappearance. Tehran now says that it has no information about him.
Others held with Western ties include Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman serving five-year jail sentences for allegedly "soft overthrow" & # 39; from the Iranian government while traveling with her young daughter.
While the pressure in Britain is increasing for her release, the Iranian state television this week broadcast images of her arrest at Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport.