Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has urged the United States to free innocent Iranian nationals in its custody based on humanitarian principles. On Wednesday, Salehi met with the families of some of the Iranian nationals who are in US detention centers, reaffirming their innocence and advising Washington to free them as soon as possible, a Press TV correspondent reported.
Among those meeting with the Iranian foreign minister was the family of Ali-Reza Asgari, a former Iranian Defense Ministry deputy, who was kidnapped by US forces in Istanbul in northwestern Turkey in 2007.
Iran's Foreign Ministry has officially called on the International Committee of the Red Cross to help clarify Asgari's fate amid unconfirmed reports about his transfer to Israel and suspected death in an Israeli prison.
According to Iran's delegation to the United Nations, several of the Iranian nationals, who have been detained by the US based on false allegations, are in critical health conditions and have been denied their very basic rights, including the right to consular access.
Salehi said kidnapping innocent Iranian citizens and setting traps for them shows that the US has not changed its approach with regards to the Iranian nation.
"This policy, in cases such as the imposition of sanctions on the Iran Aviation [Industries Organization] as an entity that serves the Iranian nation, has become clearer than before," he added.
This is while Tehran released Sarah Shourd, an American national detained in Iran for espionage, on bail and for humanitarian reasons.
Shourd, who was arrested with two other US nationals, Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer, had been arrested in 2009 after illegally entering Iran from Iraq.
The American national has refused to meet her obligation of returning to the Islamic Republic, where she was to stand trial for espionage.
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