US lawmakers press Iran for release of Michigan man

Sep 23, 2013

DETROIT (AP) - More than 60 U.S. lawmakers are calling on Iran to release a U.S. Marine as that nation's new president travels to the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

The Congress members each released photos Monday with "Free Amir" signs on social media websites. Amir Hekmati has been held in Iran for two years on what his family and the U.S. government say are false espionage charges.

The bipartisan campaign is led by U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee. The Flint Democrat says President Hasan Rouhani could demonstrate Iran "is serious about engaging in diplomacy" by releasing his constituent.

Hekmati was born in Arizona and grew up in Michigan. He was visiting his grandmothers when he was arrested in 2011.

Rouhani and President Barack Obama plan to address the U.N. on Tuesday.