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Jul 22, 3:55 PM EDT

Tehran seeks release of detained Iranian citizens in US

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency is saying Tehran has demanded the United States release detained Iranian citizens.

The Saturday report quotes Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi as saying he raised the issue Friday while meeting with a U.S. delegation in Vienna on the sidelines of a meeting on the 2015 nuclear deal.

"We raised issue of the release of Iranians who are detained under the meaningless accusation of bypassing sanctions," on Iran, Araghchi was quoted as saying. He did not elaborate.

Earlier on Friday the White House threatened "new and serious consequences" for Iran unless it releases all U.S. citizens who are detained there.

Washington is urging the return of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran in 2007 and Princeton graduate student Xiyue Wang, who was arrested last year.

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