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      Mother of man held in Iran releases letter to him

      Behnaz Hekmati

      The mother of a former U.S. Marine who has been held in Iran for two years has released the contents of a letter she sent to him.

      Behnaz Hekmati writes to her son Amir that the two years apart "is almost too much for a mother to endure." But she adds family members in Michigan "are doing everything" in their power to secure his release.

      Amir Hekmati has been detained in Iran on what the U.S. says are false espionage charges. Authorities arrested him while visiting his grandmothers.

      The letter was released Thursday.

      The State Department on Wednesday repeated its call for Tehran to release Hekmati and two other Americans. It says the U.S. requests assistance from new President Hasan Rouhani - viewed as more moderate than predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.