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Pompeo: US citizens held in Iran, Lebanon released

March 19, 2020 at 5:41 pm

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Munich, Germany on 15 February 2020 [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Thursday the release of two Americans held by Iran and Lebanon, Anadolu reports.

American Navy veteran Michael White was freed Thursday on a medical furlough, Pompeo said in a statement. White has been detained by the Iranian regime since 2018.

White’s release on humanitarian grounds was conditioned upon him staying in Iran, said Pompeo, adding the Navy veteran is now in the custody of the Swiss embassy and will undergo medical testing.

“The United States will continue to work for Michael’s full release as well as the release of all wrongfully detained Americans in Iran,” said the top diplomat.

White was detained while traveling to Iran to visit a friend, according to multiple reports.

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Also, Lebanon released American citizen Amer Fakhoury, who was in detention since September. A resident from the state of New Hampshire, Fakhoury was detained during a family vacation in Lebanon.

Pompeo said Fakhoury is returning to the US, which he said “comes as a relief to those who have followed the case with grave concern.

“We are relieved to be able to welcome him back home,” Pompeo added.

The U.S. diplomat also called on Iran to immediately release Morad Tahbaz, Baquer Namazi and Siamak Namazi on humanitarian grounds.

“We also ask the regime to honor the commitment it made to work with the United States for the return of Robert Levinson,” he said.