President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden says Roe v. Wade under attack like 'never before' On student loans, Biden doesn't have an answer yet Grill company apologizes after sending meatloaf recipe on same day of rock star's death MORE said Thursday that he spoke by phone to U.S. Navy veteran Michael White after the administration secured his release in a deal with Iran, where he had been detained for almost two years.
“I just got off the phone with former American hostage Michael White, who is now in Zurich after being released from Iran. He will be on a U.S. plane shortly, and is COMING HOME … to the UNITED STATES!” Trump tweeted Thursday evening.
“We have now brought more than 40 American hostages and detainees back home since I took office. Thank you to Iran, it shows a deal is possible!” Trump continued,
White’s mother confirmed his release in a statement Thursday morning, saying “the nightmare is over.” Trump later announced that White was on his way back to the United States on a Swiss plane after his release was secured in negotiations between Washington and Iran.
White was detained in Iran in 2018 after traveling there to meet a woman he met online. He was convicted and sentenced to 13 yeas in jail for insulting Iran’s supreme leader and posting private information online.
As part of the deal, the U.S. reportedly agreed to release Matteo Taerri, an Iranian American doctor who faced charges in Florida for violating sanctions on Iran. The agreement was facilitated by U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook.
The agreement was reached at a time of sustained tensions between both countries following Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran and the U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in January.