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Former U.S. Officials Make New Push To Free U.S. Marine In Iran

Amir Hekmati has been detained by Iran on spying charges since August 2011. (file photo)
Former top American security and defense officials have launched a new appeal to free a former U.S. Marine imprisoned in Iran.

Amir Hekmati has been detained by Tehran since August 2011 on espionage charges, which Washington says are false.

In a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, the ex-officials urge "immediate action" to speed up Hekmati's release.

The letter is signed by William S. Cohen, a former secretary of defense; General Peter Pace, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General James L. Jones, a former national security adviser; and General Joseph W. Ralston, a former allied commander in Europe.

They say Hekmati has "conducted his life with unyielding honor and courage."

The officials say now is a good time to press for his release, as Western powers and Iran attempt to move forward on their interim nuclear agreement.

Based on reporting by "The New York Times"