Lawyer: US Navy Veteran Held in Iran Sentenced to 10 Years

Lawyer: US Navy Veteran Held in Iran Sentenced to 10 Years

Lawyer: US Navy Veteran Held in Iran Sentenced to 10 Years

An Iranian court has sentenced an American to 10 years in prison for insulting the country's supreme leader and posting a private picture, his lawyer confirmed on Saturday.

White's family learned about the sentence from the US State Department, who in turn was informed by Swiss diplomats who represent US interests in Iran, since the two nations have no official diplomatic channel.

Michael White was arrested in July past year while reportedly visiting an Iranian woman in the city of Mashad.

White is the first USA citizen to be detained during Donald Trump's presidency.

Iran has a history of arresting foreign nationals and dual-nationals visiting the country on vague security-related charges with most later being convicted for spying or other conspiracy charges against the government.

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

The State Department has not commented on the sentence. She added that he had been undergoing treatment for a neck tumor and has asthma.

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White, a California native, served 13 years in the Navy. Zaid said that White was facing two separate charges, one of which was insulting Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. It remains hard for Americans to get visas to Iran, 40 years after the Islamic Revolution and the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis. White had been imprisoned at Iran's Vakilabad Prison, known for its execution of drug traffickers, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The Iranian regime has imprisoned several other USA citizens in recent years, including father-and-son Baquer and Siamak Namazi and Xiyue Wang. Iranian-American art dealer Karan Vafadari and his Iranian wife, Afarin Neyssari, received 27-year and 16-year prison sentences, respectively.

The last time Iran released any imprisoned Americans was when the worldwide accord on Iran's nuclear programme took effect in January 2016.

Also in an Iranian prison is Nizar Zakka, a USA permanent resident from Lebanon who advocated for internet freedom and has done work for the US government. Both are serving 10-year sentences on espionage charges.

Former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished in Iran in 2007 while on an unauthorized Central Intelligence Agency mission, remains missing.

Another charge he was facing is linked to him posting private information online, which is punishable by law in Iran.

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