Iran confirms it is holding US Navy veteran Michael White

U.S. Navy veteran Michael R. White has been held in Iran for more than six months his family said

Switzerland represents US diplomatic interests in the country, as ties between the USA and Iran were cut after Tehran held American diplomats hostage.

The New York Times has quoted White's mother, Joanne, as saying she learned three weeks ago that her son was being held at an Iranian prison.

A US State Department representative said the department was "aware of reports of the detention of a US citizen in Iran", and that it has "no higher priority than the safety and security of US citizens overseas". She filed a missing persons report after White failed to board his July 27, 2018, flight back to the USA, according to the AP.

"An American citizen was arrested in the city of Mashhad some time ago and his case was conveyed to the U.S administration on the first days [of his incarceration]", Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said, according to the AP.

She said her son had visited Iran "five or six times" to see an Iranian woman she described as his girlfriend.

It is unclear when the United States was informed of White's arrest but his mother has told reporters that he went missing in July.

Iranian officials said Mr White was detained in the city of Mashhad, in the north-east of the country.

"Due to privacy considerations, we have no additional information to provide at this time", the representative said.

"I'm very anxious about his health", she told CBS News, "He just got over cancer and I'm anxious about his condition". She filed a missing-person report and had been communicating with the State Department and Department of Homeland Security.

New details are emerging about an American Navy veteran being held captive in Iran.

Siamak Namazi, and his father, Baquer Namazi, are Iranian-Americans who have been detained since October 2015 and February 2016, respectively.

Iran has confirmed a United States media report that a United States military veteran was arrested past year, but denied he had been badly treated.

The first Iranian arrest of an American under the Trump administration has been confirmed by Iran, heightening already taut relations between the two countries.

In 2007, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, Robert Levinson, went missing in Iran.

Relations between Iran and the U.S. deteriorated sharply previous year when President Donald Trump withdrew from an global accord on Iran's nuclear programme and re-imposed sweeping sanctions.

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