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Congressman: Iran's release of jailed ex-Marine would cement return to global community


FLINT, Michigan — A Michigan congressman says Iran can show it's "serious about rejoining the global community" by freeing a former U.S. Marine imprisoned there since 2011.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee used the occasion of Thursday's breakthrough in international talks limiting Iran's nuclear program to repeat his call for release of 31-year-old Amir Hekmati.

Kildee is a Flint Democrat who represents the district where Hekmati's family lives.

Hekmati was arrested in August 2011 while visiting relatives in Iran. He was initially convicted of spying and sentenced to death, but that was later overturned and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison on a lesser charge.

In a statement, Kildee praises the agreement on Iran's nuclear program but says Iran can boost its international standing by freeing Hekmati "and other political prisoners."

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