According to his family, Michael R. White, 46, from Imperial Beach, California, was due to return from Iran where he was visiting his girlfriend on July 27, but never boarded his plane, the Times reported.
The New York Times reported Monday that a Navy veteran identified as 46-year-old Michael White, a California resident, had been seized by Iranian authorities and sent to prison in late July while he was visiting an Iranian girlfriend.
Iran Wire's report was based on an interview with a former Iranian prisoner who was quoted as saying he had met White at Vakilabad Prison in the city of Mashhad in October.
"All I know is that he is alive and they were putting in a request for a consular visit by the Swiss", she told the newspaper.
She said she had not been contacted by the US State Department and was unaware he was in prison until being contacted by CNN.
"I'm very anxious about his health. I just want to see him home safe and sound", Joanne White said by phone.
A duty officer reached at the US State Department early Tuesday said the department's media team could not comment on the report due to the ongoing partial government shutdown.
In the absence of relations, the Swiss Embassy represents USA diplomatic interests in Iran.
On his third visit, when White and his girlfriend were about to fly to Turkey, he was arrested at Hasheminejad Airport in Mashhad, Farhadi said.
The US State Department said it was "aware of reports" of the detention but declined details, citing privacy considerations. We have no higher priority than the safety and security of USA citizens overseas.
She said her son had visited Iran "five or six times" to see his girlfriend.
Baquer Namazi, a retired UNICEF official, and his son Siamak, an Iranian-American businessman, were sentenced in 2016 to 10 years in prison for spying and cooperating with the USA government. Two of them are of Iranian descent while the other American citizens have been missing in Iran for over a decade. Those strains have particularly increased since May, when the United States withdrew from a nuclear deal with the Islamic republic and reinstated sanctions against it.
In January 2016, Iran freed four U.S. prisoners - Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, Marine veteran Amir Hekmati, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari - in exchange for the USA granting clemency to seven Iranians indicted or imprisoned in the United States.