Iranian State TV: FBI Arrested Our American-born News Anchor

Marzieh Hashemi, who was born in New Orleans as Melanie Franklin, was arrested after arriving in St. Louis, says Press TV

Marzieh Hashemi
Aghiltohidian / Wikimedia Commons

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman on Wednesday called for the immediate release of a journalist arrested in the United States while working for Iran's English-language state TV 

"We condemn the illegal arrest of Marziyeh Hashemi, the reporter and presenter of Press TV, and the inhumane treatment of her in jail in Washington," Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA. 

The English-language arm of Iran's state television broadcaster reported earlier that its prominent American-born news anchor was arrested after flying into the United States.

Press TV broke into its broadcast on Wednesday to report that Marzieh Hashemi, born Melanie Franklin of New Orleans, was arrested after arriving at St. Louis Lambert International Airport on Sunday.

The broadcaster, citing her family, said Hashemi was taken into FBI custody and brought to the Washington area.

A call to the FBI rang unanswered early on Wednesday morning. The bureau did not immediately respond to a written request for comment. Several local jails around Washington that house federal inmates also said they did not have her in custody.

Hashemi's reported arrest comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S.