August 29 marked the four year anniversary of the detention in Iran of U.S. citizen Amir Hekmati on false charges of espionage.
Mr. Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine who was born inArizona, was arrested by Iranian authorities when he travelled to Iran in 2011 to visit relatives.
In a statement, Secretary of State John Kerry again called on the Government of Iran to release Amir Hekmati on humanitarian grounds.
“This is a milestone no family wants to mark,” he said, “The Hekmati family has shown inspiring perseverance in the face of this injustice. And as befits a former Marine, Amir has shown tremendous courage in the face of this unjust detention.”
Secretary Kerry noted that President Barack Obama recently told a group of American veterans that he would not relent in efforts to bring Mr. Hekmati home.
In that speech Mr. Obama spoke of all the Americans who are unjustly detained in Iran:
“Journalist Jason Rezaian should be released. Pastor Saeed Abedini should be released. Amir Hekmati, a former sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, should be released. Iran needs to help us find Robert Levinson. These Americans need to be back home with their families.”
Secretary of State Kerry also called on the government of Iran to release Saeed Abedini and Jason Rezaian as well as Mr. Hekmati, “and to work cooperatively with the United States to locate Robert Levinson, so that all can be returned to their families.”