A veteran of the US Navy has sued Iran for $1 billion over his two-year detention in a jail in the Islamic Republic. Michael White, who was released in June 2020, alleges in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, DC that he was kidnapped, held hostage and tortured. The lawsuit also names his mother and two brothers as plaintiffs, The Associated Press reports. White was arrested after the Trump administration announced that it would leave the Iran nuclear deal in 2018.
White says he was tortured until he falsely confessed that he was a spy for the United States. He said in his lawsuit that he was beaten, punched, whipped and deprived of food and drink.
White entered Iran in 2018 to meet a woman he believed was his girlfriend but who was actually charged with luring him into the country in order to be arrested by Iranian government agents. He was put in prison on charges of insulting Iran’s Supreme Leader and spying for the US government against Iran, and then sentenced without a trial to 10 years in prison.