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American held in Iran writes letter to John Kerry

DETROIT — A US Marine veteran held in Iran for two years said in a letter to the US secretary of state that he has endured ‘‘miserable prison conditions’’ and believes Tehran is holding him hostage for use in a possible prisoner exchange.

Amir Hekmati’s letter, dated Sept. 1, was addressed to John Kerry and published Wednesday by Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

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Hekmati, 30, wrote that he has been ‘‘held on false charges based solely on confessions obtained by force, threats, miserable prison conditions, and solitary confinement.

‘‘This is part of a propaganda and hostage-taking effort by Iranian intelligence to secure the release of Iranians abroad being held on security-related charges,’’ he wrote in the letter that the Guardian said was smuggled from the prison.

The US State Department said it had received the letter.

‘‘We have asked . . . Iranian authorities to permit a visit by officials of the Swiss Embassy in Tehran to determine the well-being of Mr. Hekmati and, of course, to release him,’’ spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday.

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