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U.S. Asks Iran To Free Two Americans, Help Find Another

  • RFE/RL

Said Abedini

Said Abedini

The United States has again appealed to Tehran to help two Americans return to their families after lengthy detentions in Iran and to help find an American who went missing in the country.

The State Department said in a statement that Washington is "respectfully" requesting the assistance from Iran's new president, Hasan Rohani, who is seen as more moderate than his predecessor.

Analysts say previous requests made to former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad used harsher rhetoric.

Robert Levinson went missing from Kish Island in Iran in March 2007.

The State Department says Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine, has been detained since August 2011 on what Washington has called false espionage charges.

Said Abedini has been detained since September 2012 on charges related to his religious beliefs and reportedly has suffered physical abuse while in Iranian detention.

With reporting by AP