Accusing Iran of using detentions and hostages as a tool of state policy, the United States on Friday warned Iran of ‘new and serious consequences’ if it fails to return the “unjustly” imprisoned US citizens.
Condemning Tehran for the recent sentencing of Xiyue Wang, a Chinese American, to 10 years in prison, the White House said in a statement yesterday: “President Donald Trump is prepared to impose new and serious consequences on Iran unless all unjustly imprisoned American citizens are released and returned.”
Holding Iran “responsible” for the care and well-being of the US citizens in its custody, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that it has used detentions and hostage taking as a tool of state policy for nearly 45 years and that “it is a practice that continues to this day with the recent sentencing of Xiyue Wang to 10 years in prison.”
A 37-year-old researcher at Princeton University, Xiyue is a Chinese American accused of “infiltration” in Iran.
Trump urges Iran to return Robert Levinson home, who has been held for over 10 years, and demands the release of Siamak and Baquer Namazi, who were taken during the Obama administration, along with all other American citizens unjustly detained by Iran, she said.
(With PTI inputs)