Family of Navy Veteran Held in Iran Says He Had Valid Visa along with is usually No Spy

The family of Michael R. White, a Navy veteran imprisoned in Iran half a year ago, said Friday of which he had traveled there which has a valid visa to visit a female friend, rejecting any suggestion of which he might have been engaged in espionage.

“We want to be very clear — Michael spent much of his time from the Navy as a cook along with recently worked as a commercial janitor — he is usually not today, nor has he ever been a spy,” the family said in a statement.

Mr. White, 46, also had been undergoing treatment for cancer along with some other “serious medical conditions of which could be life-threatening without regular, specialized medical care,” the statement said.

Michael R. White, an American Navy veteran, in an undated photograph provided by his family.

Mr. White, a 13-year Navy veteran coming from Imperial Beach, Calif., is usually the first American known to be imprisoned by Iran since President Trump took office nearly two years ago. Why Iran has taken him into custody is usually unclear.