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Iran comes to American's rescue

By Todd Sperry, CNN
updated 7:52 PM EDT, Mon April 16, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The American is receiving good medical in Iran, U.S. officials say
  • The 52-year-old man from Seattle was on an Emirates flight from Dubai
  • The flight diverted to Iran
  • The man is to return to the U.S. Tuesday

(CNN) -- An American who suffered a heart attack last week during a commercial flight from Dubai to Seattle, Washington, is expected to return to the U.S. Tuesday after being treated in Iran, State Department officials told CNN Monday.

He is doing well and is receiving good medical care in Iran, the sources said.

The 52-year-old man from Seattle was on an Emirates flight when the plane declared a medical emergency over Iranian airspace. The flight diverted to Tehran, the capital, according to the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency.

"Despite international sanctions against the Iranian people, which also endanger their lives ... we helped an American citizen in our country," ISNA quoted the public relations chief for Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, Abbas Mosayebi, as saying.

Friday's apparent good will gesture by Iran follows ones by the U.S. This year, the U.S. Navy has reported a string of rescues of stranded Iranian sailors in the Persian Gulf. Last month, the U.S. Navy said it had rescued a survivor from an Iranian cargo vessel that sank in the gulf, killing at least three other crew members.

CNN's Elise Labott contributed to this report.

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