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Iran: US Navy veteran being held over ‘private complaint’

January 25, 2019

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian prosecutor says a detained U.S. Navy veteran is being held in connection to a “private complaint.”

Michael White, 46, has been held since July, and is the first known American to have been detained in Iran since Donald Trump became president. His family says he traveled to Iran to visit his girlfriend, who he met online, and was arbitrarily detained.

The semi-official Mehr news agency on Friday quoted prosecutor Gholamali Sadeghi as saying the case is still “under investigation,” without elaborating. He did not confirm reports that the man faces security charges.

Trump has pursued a maximalist campaign against Tehran that includes pulling out of its nuclear deal with world powers. Iran in the past has detained Westerners and dual nationals to use them as leverage in negotiations.

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