The terrorist regime that rules Iran has confirmed that it is holding U.S. Navy veteran Michael R. White hostage.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told Iran’s state-run Tasnim News Agency Wednesday: “An American citizen was arrested in the city of Mashhad some time ago and his case was conveyed to the U.S administration on first days.”
The New York Times confirmed White’s capture on Monday after speaking to his mother.
“Iran has been holding an American Navy veteran in prison on unspecified charges since late July, when he was seized while visiting an Iranian girlfriend, his mother said Monday,” the Times reported.
Iranwire, a website for Iranian expatriates, also discussed White’s capture. In the piece, Irvar Farhadi, a former Iranian prisoner, said he met Mr. White at Iran’s Vakilabad Prison in the city of Mashhad.
According to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI), Vakilabad authorities conduct secret mass executions inside of the prison.
“He was not in a good psychological condition and is not allowed visitors or access to the phone. He is virtually a hostage without any charges against him,” Farhadi told Iranwire.
He added, “Michael is kept among dangerous criminals including murderers and professional drug smugglers and his life is in danger. I promised to myself that if I got out of prison one of the first things that I would do would be to inform people about the situation of this American prisoner.”
At least four U.S. citizens and one U.S. permanent resident are currently being held by Iran. CBS reports, citing sources, that Tehran is “holding the Americans to try to extract concessions such as those received in a deal reached with President Obama.”
President Obama set a dangerous precedent in paying a total of $1.7 billion dollars (in what appeared to resemble a ransom payment) for the release of four American hostages.
This is believed to be the first time that the Iranian regime has taken an American citizen hostage during the Trump era. The last known American detained by Iran was Xiyue Wang, a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. He was detained while conducting research in Tehran on August 8, 2016. Wang was later sentenced for espionage charges.
President Trump has a decision to make. He can follow in Obama’s footsteps and negotiate with the terrorist regime in Iran. He may instead choose to demand the unconditional release of the growing number of Americans held hostage by Tehran. The White House has not yet commented on the matter. The State Department said it was aware of the reports but did not comment further.