The general view of Vakilabad prison in the city of Mashhad, undated. (Supplied)

January 9, 2019

After an Iranian news agency abroad reported that another American has been incarcerated in Iran, the New York Times confirmed the news by speaking to his Family.

Based on these reports, former U.S. Navy serviceman Michael R. White from Imperial Beach, California disappeared in Iran since July 2018. He was visiting an Iranian girlfriend as was due to fly out on July 27, but he never boarded his flight.

IranWire had quoted a former Iranian prisoner as saying that while in prison, he had met White in a prison in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad. IranWire also says that two other prisoners confirmed the presence of an American.

The Iranian prisoner who met White, gives many details of the prison and says that White was kept in a special ward, with strict conditions, forced to observe Shiite religious rituals.

The NYT spoke with White’s mother, Joanne White, who said the U.S. State Department had informed her that her son was being kept in Iran. She also said that her son needs medical attention because of a tumor he had before traveling to Iran.

The State Department confirmed to NYT that they are aware of the case but refused further comment.

Iran is currently holding several dual citizens, as well as foreign citizens, including Americans and Britons. They are usually charged with dubious espionage accusations and do not have access to due process of law.

RFE/RL

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.