Iran confirmed on Wednesday January 9th that it had arrested an American citizen, confirming US media reports about a case that risks further worsening relations with Washington, Reuters has reported.
Iran had not confirmed the arrest of Michael White before the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) carried a statement by Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi. The statement failed to specify when the arrest had happened or what crime White was accused of. Several media reports mentioned White was being poorly treated by Iranian authorities.
Qassemi, for his part, said Iran had informed the US government about White’s arrest within days of when he was taken into custody.
Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that White, a 46-year-old US Navy veteran, was arrested while visiting Iran and had been held since July on unspecified charges. Several Americans have been detained in Iran in recent years and President Trump warned in 2017 that Tehran would face “new and serious consequences” unless all unjustly held US citizens were freed.