Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Photo: Iranian Leader Press Off./Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.S Navy veteran Michael White has been freed by Iran and has left the country on a Swiss government aircraft, AP reports.

Why it matters: White spent 683 days detained by the Iranian government. He was the first American known to be detained by Iran since President Trump took office.

What they're saying:

"For the past 683 days my son, Michael, has been held hostage in Iran by the IRGC and I have been living a nightmare. I am blessed to announce that the nightmare is over, and my son is safely on his way home.
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. Outside of government, I’d like to thank Gov. Bill Richardson for repeatedly raising Michael’s case with Iranian officials and delivering my personal pleas for my son’s freedom."
— Joanne White, Michael's mother

White's release comes a day after the U.S. released Iranian scientist, the New York Times reports. American officials stated the two cases are not linked.

  • White, a cancer patient, also contracted the coronavirus while held in an Iranian prison.
  • At least three other Americans, all with dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship, are known to be in Iranian custody.

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