Washington: Iran Foreign Ministry on Wednesday confirmed that United States Navy veteran Michael White is in Iranian custody.
The news was confirmed a day after White’s mother made the claims of his arrest, reported CNN.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said, “Michael White was arrested in the city of Mashhad a while ago, and within a few days after his arrest, the US government was informed of the arrest through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran.”
Denying the allegation of White’s mistreatment in prison, Ghasemi said, “This person’s case is currently being processed by officials. The public will be informed of more details of the case in due time.”.
The Swiss Embassy represents US diplomatic interests in Iran due to the absence of relations between the two countries.
CNN quoted White’s mother Joanne who even though declined to discuss the reason of her son’s arrest stated that she had filed a missing person report after he failed to return to work in California in late July.
Expressing her concerns, Joanne revealed that she is worried for the US Navy veteran’s health as he has had cancer and suffers from asthma.
“My heart aches for him. … I just want to see him home safe and sound,” Joanne White told CNN on the phone.
According to Joanne, Michael flew from Los Angeles to Dubai on July 9, and then on to Iran to visit a woman. The woman is supposedly his girlfriend whom he had met online about four or five years ago.
He had visited her four times over the last few years, Joanne White divulged.
Iran and the US have had a difficult diplomatic relationship since US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the Nuclear deal.