Michiganian held in Iran says no interest in swap

Associated Press

Detroit — A former U.S. Marine imprisoned in Iran says in a letter to Iran’s president that he rejects any prisoner swap proposals.

Amir Hekmati’s family near Flint on Wednesday released a copy of the letter he dictated to relatives via prison phone. Hekmati’s Iranian lawyer sent the letter this week to President Hassan Rouhani. It’s not clear if it was received.

Hekmati was arrested in 2011 and sentenced to death for spying. Authorities overturned that sentence and imprisoned him for 10 years. The U.S. denies he’s a spy.

Hekmati, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, was born in Arizona and raised in Michigan. His family says he went to Iran to see his grandmothers.

Hekmati’s letter asserts he wouldn’t agree to a swap because he “committed no crime” and isn’t connected to other prisoners. U.S. officials say no swap has been discussed.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif says the Iranian judiciary found Hekmati guilty but is trying to get help “on humanitarian grounds.”

Just before Christmas, Hekmati suspended a hunger strike after authorities agreed to re-examine his case.