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Sister of former Marine held by Iran will sit next to Michigan congressman during Obama speech

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FLINT, Michigan — The sister of a former Marine held by Iran for more than four years will sit next to a Michigan congressman during President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee says the presence of Sarah Hekmati on Tuesday will be an important reminder about the plight of her brother, Amir Hekmati.

Amir Hekmati has been in an Iranian prison since 2011. The U.S. government denies he's a spy and has repeatedly called for his release. His family lives in Kildee's Flint-area district.

In a statement released by the Democrat, Sarah Hekmati says the health of her father and brother is "dire."

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