US Navy veteran released from Iran after two years

Michael White

A US Navy veteran has been released after two years behind bars in Iran.

Michael White was released and escorted by US Special Envoy Brian Hook to a Swiss government plane, which began the journey back to the United States in exchange for an Iranian-American doctor.

“I am blessed to announce that the nightmare is over, and my son is safely in American custody and on his way home,” White’s mother, Joanne White, said in a statement.

White, who was allegedly suffering from coronavirus, has been making a recovery.

According to the Associated Press, White was detained in 2018 while visiting a woman he had fallen in love with online. Convicted of posting private information and insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran, he was sentenced to ten years in prison.

“Simply put, the ‘charges’ against Michael were pretexts for a state-sponsored kidnap-for-ransom scheme,” family spokesman Jon Franks said in a statement Thursday. “The tragedy of this case is Michael’s only only crime was falling in love with Iran and its people for whom he cares deeply.”

The Trump administration put considerable effort into getting White back, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked Switzerland for their assistance.

“I will never stop working to secure the release of all Americans held hostage overseas!” President Trump said on Twitter.

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