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US veteran reportedly held prisoner in Iran for months

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If confirmed, this would mean that Iran is now holding at least four US citizens in custody

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

The family of U.S. Navy veteran Michael White of California told CBS News that the State Department had informed them that White was being held prisoner in Iran.

Here's what we know

According to his mother, White traveled to Iran to visit his girlfriend. He was arrested at the end of July, when he was scheduled to fly back to the United States.

"I'm very worried about his health. He just got over cancer, and I'm worried about his condition. It's very scary to me," White's mother told CBS News Tuesday. "I know he was visiting his girlfriend. He's been over there three or four times without any issues. The last time I had contact with him was July 13th."

White's mother told the New York Times that he had already traveled to Iran to visit this girlfriend "five or six times," although she did not say how the two met.

According to White's mother, the State Department was trying to use the Swiss Embassy to gain access to him.

An online news service run by Iranian expats called Iranwire also reported on Monday that White was being held in Iran. It quoted a former Iranian prisoner who claimed to have met White at Vakilabad Prison.

A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department told TheBlaze:

We are aware of reports of the detention of a U.S. citizen in Iran. We have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens abroad. Due to privacy considerations, we have no additional information to provide at this time.

What else?

Iran is also holding at least three other prisoners: Siamak and Baquer Namazi, an Iranian-American father and son who were convicted in a closed-door trial after being arrested in February 2016, and Xiyue Wang, a grad student at Princeton who was arrested in August 2016.

The New York Times noted that Iran did not acknowledge the arrest of Wang until July 2017.

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