A Navy veteran from Imperial Beach who traveled to Iran last July to see his girlfriend has been sentenced to a 10-year prison term in that Islamic country, according to media reports.
White’s imprisonment was reported Saturday by the Associated Press and the New York Times. His family was apparently informed earlier in the week.
White, 46, was reportedly convicted of insulting Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and posting a photo online.
“Obviously the concern is that the Iranians are using this as a tool against the United States,” White’s Washington-based lawyer, Mark Zaid, told the Associated Press.
White served in the Navy for 13 years and is the first American imprisoned in the Islamic country since President Trump took office.
U.S.-Iran relations have soured under Trump, and White’s imprisonment could be leverage for negotiations.
There are three other Americans known to be held in Iran.
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