Pompeo: Two Americans released from detention in Iran, Lebanon

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Twitter/@SecPompeo

March 20 (UPI) — Two Americans detained in Iran and Lebanon were released on Thursday, the U.S. State Department announced.

Michael White, 47, was released on humanitarian grounds on the condition that he remain in Iran and was placed in the custody of the Swiss Embassy where he will undergo medical testing and evaluation.

“The United States will continue to work for Michael’s full release as well as the release of all wrongfully detained Americans in Iran,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

White, a U.S. Navy veteran and cancer survivor from San Diego, was arrested in July 2018 while visiting a woman in Mashhad, Iran, and was serving a 13-year sentence.

He was sentenced for allegedly insulting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and disclosing private information by posting a phone of a woman he was visiting on Instagram.

Pompeo also announced that Amer Fakhoury, who was detained in Lebanon since September, was being returned to the United States.

“His return comes as a relief to his family and countless others who have followed his case with grave concern,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo also called on Iran to immediately release detainees Morad Tahbaz, Baquer Namazi and Siamak Namazi on humanitarian grounds.

“We also ask the regime to honor the commitment it made to work with the United States for the return of Robert Levinson,” he said.


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