AFP: The United States is asking Switzerland, which represents US interests in Tehran, to find out more about an Iranian-American student reportedly held since October 15 in Tehran, the State Department said Friday.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States is asking Switzerland, which represents US interests in Tehran, to find out more about an Iranian-American student reportedly held since October 15 in Tehran, the State Department said Friday.
Iranian news media Tuesday reported the arrest of Esha Momeni, a university student in California who traveled to Iran two months ago to visit family and carry out research.
"My understanding is that she's a dual national," State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters in Washington.
"We're working through the Swiss and any other appropriate channels that we feel are necessary to try to ascertain all of the information that we need to have."
Momeni, a graduate student at the Northridge campus of California State University, was reportedly stopped by police for an alleged traffic offense in Tehran on October 15 and transferred to Evin prison in the Iranian capital.
Amnesty International said Tuesday she is a member of the Campaign for Equality, an Iranian women's rights network, and that the Iranian women's movement is the subject of her master's thesis.
"She has not been charged with any offense, and is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment," it said.
Reacting to her detention in a statement, California State University at Northridge president Jolene Koester said Momeni was a US citizen "invested in learning and understanding current conditions in the country of her family's origin."
The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in April 1980, a year after the Islamic republic was established. Switzerland represents US interests in Tehran, while Pakistan fulfils the same role for Iran in Washington.