Flint family of jailed former Marine in Iran gets letters

May 7, 2013

DETROIT (AP) - The family of a former Marine detained in Iran for nearly two years says he's finally receiving visits from an uncle there and has been able to send letters to immediate family members in the United States.

The Flint Journal reports Amir Hekmati's family holds out hope the developments could signal some movement toward the 29-year-old's release and eventual return to Michigan.

Sarah Hekmati says the letters are "the first time he's been directly able to express his thoughts." Hekmati's family says he went to Iran in 2011 to visit his grandmothers.

She says her brother's letters didn't provide details about his condition but he says he is "staying strong."

Iran accuses Hekmati of spying for the CIA. U.S. officials deny the charge.