(Persia Digest) – A high-ranking official at the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said: “American citizen Michael White has not been arrested on spying charges in Iran.”
The news of the arrest of a US navy veteran in Mashhad, northeastern Iran, was reported a while back.
Hossein Panahi-Azar, Parliamentary Deputy for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, rejected claims of White being a military man, and said: “He has taken personal trips to Iran for years and has friends here. He has a private plaintiff and spying is not concerned. His arrest was reported to the Swiss Embassy in Tehran as the US interest section according to the Vienna Convention.”
He added that no final verdict has been issued for him yet, saying: “Foreign nationals with private plaintiffs in Iran must also go through the usual judiciary process.”
Two months ago, the New York Times reported that Michael R White was arrested in Iran as he was leaving Mashhad Airport.
Speaking about a number of unaccompanied minors asking for refugee status in the UK by crossing the channel, Panahi-Azar said: “We have investigated the matter and found no evidence that such an event has taken place.”
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