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Relatives, Lawmakers Urge Rohani To Free Former U.S. Marine

Amir Hekmati has been detained in Iran since 2011
The sister of a former U.S. marine imprisoned in Iran is trying to meet the Iranian president during his trip to New York to participate in the annual UN General Assembly meeting.

Leila Hekmati, the twin sister of Amir Hekmati, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda on September 23 that she wants to tell President Hassan Rohani that her bother "is innocent" and a victim of "planned political games."

Tehran has detained Hekmati since August 2011 on espionage charges that Washington says are false.

Hekmati's mother, Behnaz Hekmati, told Radio Farda that she hopes the Iranian president will free her son as a goodwill gesture.

More than 60 U.S. lawmakers have also urged Rohani to release Hekmati.

The lawmakers, both Republican and Democratic, have contributed photographs of themselves holding a sign reading "Free Amir" to a collection they hope Rohani will see when he arrives in New York on September 23.

With reporting by AP