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Family of ex-US Marine held in Iran since 2011 traveling to nuclear talks to seek his release

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FLINT, Michigan — Relatives of a former U.S. Marine held in an Iranian prison since 2011 say they're traveling to Vienna to press for his release as diplomats meet to discuss limits on Tehran's nuclear program.

In a statement released Thursday, Amir Hekmati's family says his father's health is deteriorating. Ali Hekmati has brain cancer and desperately wants to see his son.

Amir Hekmati, a U.S. and Iranian citizen, was arrested on spying charges in 2011 and sentenced to death. His sentence was later reduced to 10 years. The U.S. insists he's not a spy.

The family in Flint, Michigan, says Iran could improve its international stature by releasing Hekmati, especially during Ramadan, a month of fasting and reflection by Muslims.

PHOTO: FILE - IN this May 10, 2013 file photo, Behnaz Hekmati sits with her husband Ali Hekmati as they talk about their son former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, who is being detained in Iran accused of being a CIA spy, at their home in Flint Township, Mich.  Relatives of Amir Hekmati, say they're traveling to Vienna to press for his release as diplomats meet to discuss limits on Tehran's nuclear program. In a statement released Thursday, June 25, Hekmati's family says his father's health is deteriorating. Ali Hekmati has brain cancer and desperately wants to see his son. (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press,  Ryan Garza)  DETROIT NEWS OUT;  NO SALES
FILE - IN this May 10, 2013 file photo, Behnaz Hekmati sits with her husband Ali Hekmati as they talk about their son former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, who is being detained in Iran accused of being a CIA spy, at their home in Flint Township, Mich. Relatives of Amir Hekmati, say they're traveling to Vienna to press for his release as diplomats meet to discuss limits on Tehran's nuclear program. In a statement released Thursday, June 25, Hekmati's family says his father's health is deteriorating. Ali Hekmati has brain cancer and desperately wants to see his son. (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Ryan Garza) DETROIT NEWS OUT; NO SALES

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