Iran has released United States Navy veteran Michael White after nearly two years in custody, his mother and U.S. officials announced Thursday.
White was arrested and imprisoned by Iranian authorities in July 2018 when he traveled to the country to visit his girlfriend. In March 2019, he was charged with insulting Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison.
He was released on medical furlough in March 2020 in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus within the prison. After White was released, he was diagnosed with the virus and sent to an Iranian hospital to recover.
White's mother, Joanne White, thanked the State Department and Swiss diplomats for bringing her son 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 have worked so hard to keep Michael safe a debt I can never repay," said Joanne White.
President Trump, who welcomed the exciting news on Twitter, reported that White departed Iran Thursday on a Swiss government aircraft.