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Iran foreign minister confirms release of Iranian-American and U.S. Navy veteran

FILE PHOTO: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a news conference, a day ahead of the first meeting of the new Syrian Constitutional Committee at the Untied Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, October 29, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

(Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed the release of an Iranian-American imprisoned in the United States and a U.S. Navy veteran imprisoned in Iran in a tweet on Thursday.

“Pleased that Dr. Majid Taheri and Mr. White will soon be joining their families,” Zarif tweeted.

Michael White had been accused of a security-related charge in Iran and Taheri was imprisoned in the United States for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Zarif called for the release of all prisoners in the tweet and said there is no need for “cherry picking.”

Both the United States and Iran have called for the release of prisoners due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Iran is one of the worst-hit countries in the Middle East, while the United States has reported the highest number of deaths and infections in the world from the virus.

“Iranian hostages held in — and on behalf of — the US should come home,” Zarif wrote in the tweet.

Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Sandra Maler and Cynthia Osterman