Iran is at it again: Another American has been taken by the regime
Now on the verge of that revolutionary anniversary comes news of yet another American gone missing in Iran. This one was not a dual national, as many of the recent Americans captured by the regime were, but rather a veteran of the U.S. Navy who was in Iran visiting his girlfriend.
Michael White, 46, went to Iran with a U.S. passport that held a valid Iranian tourist visa in it. He had visited and left the country multiple times in recent months. As a former long-term resident of Iran who hosted multiple American guests during years, I can say with high confidence that the Iranian government conducts elaborate background checks on all applicants from the United States. Anyone who is granted entry will find that their visits are heavily scrutinized, making it extremely hard to run afoul of the law.
But White disappeared in July. His mother in Southern California filed a missing person’s report. Nothing has been heard from him since. The State Department is aware that he’s in prison and says that it is working the usual channels for release. Unfortunately, though, since President Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran last May – while at least six other U.S. persons remain in prison there or unaccounted for – nearly all diplomatic contact between Washington and Tehran has been cut.
Iran has a long record of detaining foreign nationals. In most cases it turns out that the lone offense committed by those detained is that they hold a non-Iranian passport – meaning that their home country may give concessions to secure their release.
This is the stuff of pirates, terrorist groups – and the Islamic Republic of Iran, since its very inception. Hostage-taking has become a favorite Iranian method of exerting foreign policy pressure on countries – such as the United States – that show a commitment to the well-being of their citizens.
Read More: The Washington Post
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