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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Navy vet freed from Iranian prison ill, seeks transfer to US

White was detained in July 2018 while visiting a girlfriend in Iran and was later convicted of insulting Iran's supreme leader and posting private information.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Navy veteran released from an Iranian prison last week on a medical furlough is sick with symptoms of the coronavirus and is requesting a humanitarian evacuation to the U.S. for medical treatment. 

A spokesman for Michael White says White was hospitalized Wednesday in a ward for coronavirus patients in Iran and has experienced fever, fatigue, a cough and shortness of breath since his furlough. 

He is asking for Iran to release him to the United States. White was detained in July 2018 while visiting a girlfriend in Iran and was later convicted of insulting Iran's supreme leader and posting private information.

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Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran has granted a medical furlough to a U.S. Navy veteran imprisoned for more than a year. Michael White was in the custody of the Swiss Embassy before falling ill.

Pompeo said the U.S. government will work for his full release. The furlough comes as Iran works to curb the spread of coronavirus. 

White had been imprisoned since July 2018. He had been visiting a girlfriend when he was detained. White was convicted of insulting Iran's supreme leader and posting private information. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. 

White is among tens of thousands of prisoners Iran has furloughed in recent weeks as it deals with the coronavirus.