Michael White, seen with his Iranian girlfriend, disappeared in July in northeast Iran
The imprisonment of another American in Iran has been confirmed.
A detainee who was interrogated and tortured in an Iranian prison has spoken of encounters with US citizen Michael White.
Ivar Farhadi, who was serving a six-year sentence for posting on social networks, said White is a former US Navy officer who was detained last summer without charges.
White’s mother Joanne confirmed by telephone that her son was travelling from Iran to the UAE on July 27, 2018 but never boarded the flight.
“All I know is that he is alive and they were putting in a request for a consular visit by the Swiss,” who represent the interest of the US, said Joanne White.
She said that her son had visited his Iranian girlfriend in Iran “five or six times”. She did not know if any charges had officially been filed.
Two other former prisoners confirmed the story of an American detainee in Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad in northeast Iran.
“Among Dangerous Criminals”
Farhadi told IranWire, “What struck me as odd was that a few inmates were foreign nationals, including an American called Michael White….I had not met Michael, until one time when I was playing volleyball. He introduced himself as Michael White, 45, from San Diego, California, who had served with the US Navy.”
White told Farhadi that he met an Iranian girl on-line and had traveled to Iran three times to see her. But on the third occasion, when they were about to fly to Turkey, he was arrested at Hasheminejad Airport in Mashhad.
Farhadi, who said White spoke of a tumor “that might be cancerous”, reflected:
I met him a couple of times in these ceremonies and cannot forget his bewildered face. Michael is kept among dangerous criminals including murderers and professional drug smugglers and his life is in danger. I promised to myself that if I got out of prison one of the first things that I would do would be to inform people about the situation of this American prisoner.
Seizing Foreign Nationals
The Iranian regime has detained a series of foreign nationals, before and after its 2015 nuclear agreement with the 5+1 Powers.
Four Americans were released as the agreement was implemented in January 2016.
But oil executive Siamak Namazi was arrested in October 2015 and his father Baquer, a former UNESCO employee, detained in February 2016. Xiyue Wang, a graduate student in history at Princeton University, was seized in July 2016.
All three have been given 10-year sentences.
Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent, went missing on Iran’s Kish Island in 2007.
Other foreign nationals behind bars include Anglo-Iranian charity Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, serving five years. She and Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi are beginning a hunger strike next week to protest denial of medical care.