Tags: Donald Trump | Iran | Trump Administration | graduate student | xiyue wang | hostage | american citizen

Woman Pleads for Trump's Help to Get Husband Released in Iran

Image: Woman Pleads for Trump's Help to Get Husband Released in Iran
After his wife and Princeton University worked behind the scenes for his release, the case became public this past July after Iran announced Xiyue Wang, 36, had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for "spying under the cover of research" on behalf of the United States.

By    |   Tuesday, 28 November 2017 11:39 AM

The wife of U.S. graduate student Xiyue Wang, who is imprisoned in Iran, pleaded with the Trump administration to do more to obtain his release.

In an interview with NBC News on Tuesday, Qu Hua said her husband has attempted suicide during his year and a half in prison.

"Only the U.S. government can help us," she said. "I hope President Trump can open up a dialogue with Iranian authorities to discuss a resolution of my husband's case."

Wang, 36, is a Chinese-born naturalized American citizen and Princeton University student. He was arrested in August 2016 while conducting research on Iran's Qajar dynasty for his Ph.D.

After his wife and Princeton worked behind the scenes for his release, the case became public this past July after Iran announced Wang had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for "spying under the cover of research" on behalf of the United States.

Following Iran's announcement of the charges, the State Department urged Iran to release Wang "and all other unjustly detained U.S. citizens" and has also expressed its deep concern about reports of his and other captives' deteriorating health.

Wang made the comments after a video was aired on Iranian television over the weekend showing Xiyue Wang and suggesting Tehran is trying to pressure the United States in advance of a potential decision on sanctions, according to The Washington Post.

"What the Iranian government is doing is reprehensible," National Iranian American Council research director Reza Marashi told the Post, noting Tehran's hints of interest in a prisoner swap. "But you have to juxtapose it against, how do we bring our people home? We can't just let them languish."

The Obama administration had multiple channels to communicate with Iran, but the Trump administration has virtually none, according to the Post.

In October, Trump refused to certify Iran's compliance with the nuclear accord and asked Congress to attach new conditions that could scuttle the agreement. If Congress does not act by its Dec. 12 deadline, Trump said, he would consider withdrawing from it.

"My husband has literally been used as a political pawn for negotiations on all diplomatic issues between the United States and Iran," Qu Hua told the Post.

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The wife of U.S. graduate student Xiyue Wang, who is imprisoned in Iran, pleaded with the Trump administration to do more to obtain his release.
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Tuesday, 28 November 2017 11:39 AM
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