You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

U.S. Rep. talks with Obama about Marine vet in Iran

Jan. 29, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Amir Hekmati
Marine veteran Amir Hekmati has been held in Iran over the past two years on accusations of spying for the CIA. (AP)
  • Filed Under

FLINT, MICH. — U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan spoke briefly with President Barack Obama after the State of the Union address about a Marine veteran held in Iran on spying charges for more than two years, according to a spokesman for the congressman.

Kildee, a Democrat from Flint, also discussed the case of Amir Hekmati on Tuesday on the U.S. House floor with Secretary of State John Kerry and Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Kildee’s spokesman Mitchell Rivard said in a statement.

“He is very appreciative of the Obama administration’s continued efforts to help facilitate Amir’s release and hopes that Iran will release him soon so he can be reunited with his family in Michigan,” Rivard said.

The Obama administration in November asked for Iran to free Hekmati and two other Americans believed held there.

Hekmati’s family in the Flint area says he traveled to Iran to visit his grandmothers when he was arrested in 2011. Tehran accused him of being a CIA spy, then tried, convicted and sentenced him to death. Iran’s Supreme Court ordered a retrial in 2012, but he remains imprisoned.

U.S. officials and family members deny he was spying.

Hekmati, who was born in Arizona, carries U.S. and Iranian passports.

Hekmati’s family members told The Associated Press in a statement Wednesday that they’re grateful for all of Kildee’s efforts.

“While Amir has been away from us for 883 days, much in solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit, we are hopeful that he will be released soon and that the Iranian authorities will see that Amir has been punished enough,” the statement read.

A letter dated Monday and signed by one-time Secretary of Defense William Cohen and retired Gens. Peter Pace, James Jones and Joseph Ralston urged the White House to take “immediate action to facilitate the release” of Hekmati.

The letter from Cohen and the former military brass came as a six-month temporary agreement was going into effect that partially halts Iran’s nuclear progress. Iran and world powers now will try to forge a permanent deal.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Marine Corps Times

This Week's Marine Corps Times

First sergeant vs. master sergeant
Choose the rank that's best for your career

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook