Iran said it has arrested a U.S. Navy veteran on charges it didn’t disclose, a move that threatens to further strain relations between Washington and Tehran after the Trump administration reimposed sanctions last year on the Islamic Republic.

Bahram Ghasemi, the spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, on Wednesday said the U.S. was informed of Michael White’s arrest shortly after it happened, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. Ghasemi denied unspecified reports that White had been treated poorly while in detention.

“The case of this individual is being processed by the appropriate channels, and when it is concluded, the concerned authorities will inform [the public] about it,” he was quoted as saying.

News of White’s case emerged on Monday, when IranWire, a website founded by a prominent Iranian-Canadian journalist, published an article quoting a man formerly held in the same prison as saying White had been there since last summer. He was described as a former U.S. Navy officer in his mid-40s from California whom the authorities arrested as he and his Iranian girlfriend tried to leave the country from Mashhad, Iran’s second-largest city. White had traveled to Iran two other times without incident to see the woman, whom he met online, IranWire reported.

Source » marketwatch