Speed Reads

Xiyue Wang

Wife of graduate student imprisoned in Iran begs Trump administration for help

American graduate student Xiyue Wang is "very desperate" and attempted suicide in the Iranian prison where he's been held for nearly 16 months, his wife, Qu Hua, told NBC News in a broadcast Tuesday. Wang was arrested in August 2016 while researching Iran's Qajar dynasty for his Princeton University PhD. "He is extremely stressed, he has depression, and he attempted to commit suicide, and he had multiple diseases," Qu said.

Iran claims Wang, 36, was "spying under the cover of research," that he sought to enter confidential areas of the library, and that he was "directly guided by America." Qu says her husband "was criminalized because of his citizenship."

Qu, who has a 4-year-old child with Wang, begged President Trump to help her husband. "Only the U.S. government can sort this out, only the U.S. government can help us," she said. "I hope President Trump can open up a dialogue with Iranian authorities to discuss a resolution of my husband's case." Washington and Tehran have not spoken since President Barack Obama and President Hassan Rouhani talked over the phone in 2013.

Wang is one of seven Americans who are being held by Iran. "My son told his teacher that, 'When I grow up, my daddy will come home,'" Qu said. Learn more about Wang's situation below. Jeva Lange