US requests Iran’s cooperation in Levinson case

US requests Iran’s cooperation in Levinson case
Mon Mar 10, 2014 16:20:59

US Secretary of State John Kerry has asked for Iran’s cooperation with the United States in establishing the fate of a “retired FBI agent” who went missing in southern Iran in 2007.

“We respectfully ask the government of Iran to work cooperatively with us on the investigation into his disappearance, so we can ensure his safe return,” Kerry said in a statement.

Kerry’s statement marked the seventh anniversary of Robert Levinson’s disappearance during a visit to Iran’s southern Kish Island in the Persian Gulf in March 2007.

The US official further said, “Robert Levinson disappeared seven years ago from Kish Island, Iran, during a business trip,” adding, “Given Mr. Levinson’s health, age, and length of time in captivity, we mark this anniversary with a special sense of urgency.”

The United States has always insisted that Levinson was a private citizen who had traveled to Kish on private business.

However, more than six years after Levinson’s disappearance, the Associated Press revealed in December 2013 that the retired FBI agent had been recruited by the US spy agency CIA to run unauthorized espionage operations.

According to the AP, the CIA paid USD 2.5 million to Levinson’s family in a bid to pre-empt a revealing lawsuit. Washington slammed the AP’s revelation and called the New York-based wire service “highly irresponsible.”

The Islamic Republic has announced time and again that it is not holding Levinson, and that his whereabouts are not known.

In December 2013, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reaffirmed that the retired FBI agent is not incarcerated in the country, adding that if Iran finds any trace of him, it will then discuss his return.

In 2011, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington believed Levinson was “being held somewhere in southwest Asia.”


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