Michael White: US Navy veteran detained in Iran for two years en route home

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A Navy veteran detained in Iran for nearly two years has been released and is on his way home aboard a Swiss government aircraft, US officials said Thursday.

The US special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, flew to Zurich with a doctor to meet freed detainee Michael White and will accompany Mr White back to the United States, the officials said.

An Iranian scientist held in the US over a federal trade secrets case was released and deported earlier this week, which was seen by some observers as the start of a prisoner exchange between the two countries.

Mr White was serving an 18 year sentence after being arrested in the Iran city of Mashad in 2018.

The US Navy veteran's mother, Joanne White, confirmed in a statement that her son had been freed after 683 days "held hostage" by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran.

"I am blessed to announce that the nightmare is over, and my son is safely on his way home," Ms White said.

"I am incredibly grateful to the Administration, especially the team at the State Department for their work on Michael's case and I owe the Swiss diplomats who worked so hard to keep Michael safe a debt I can never repay."

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