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Obama calls for return of Americans held in Iran

Associated Press

Washington — In the midst of an unexpected break in Iranian nuclear talks, President Barack Obama is calling for the return of Americans held in Iran, which includes a Flint resident accused of spying for the CIA.

In a message commemorating the Persian New Year, Obama says it’s a time for families to be reunited.

He says Iran should immediately release U.S. prisoners Amir Hekmati of Flint, Michigan; Saeed Abedini of Boise, Idaho; and Jason Rezaian of Marin County, California. Obama also says Iran should help find Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who went missing eight years ago from the Iranian resort of Kish Island.

Iran and six world powers broke off nuclear negotiations Friday to allow the Iranian delegation to attend the funeral of their president’s mother. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement extending condolences to President Hassan Rouhani.