Published: Fri, March 27, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Missing ex-FBI agent died in Iranian custody, says family

Missing ex-FBI agent died in Iranian custody, says family

The family of retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Levinson said Wednesday, March 25, 2020, that USA government officials have concluded that he has died while in the custody of Iran.

The FBI won't give up on "finding out what happened" to former agent Robert Levinson, who the US government believes died in the custody of the Iranians, according to an email FBI Director Chris Wray sent to the FBI workforce on Thursday.

At a White House briefing on the coronavirus, Trump resisted confirming the family's account, saying that Iranian officials had not told the US about Levinson's fate and that "I won't accept that he's dead".

"Those who are responsible for what happened to Bob Levinson, including those in the USA government who for many years repeatedly left him behind, will ultimately receive justice for what they have done", the family's statement said. They will only know him through the stories we tell them.

"Those that are answerable for what occurred to Bob Levinson, together with these within the U.S. authorities who for a few years repeatedly left him behind, will in the end obtain justice for what they've performed", the household mentioned.

Levinson disappeared on March 9, 2007, when he was scheduled to meet a source on the Iranian island of Kish.

Iran's foreign ministry said in 2018 that Levinson had "travelled to Iran at a certain point and then left" and that it had no information about anything that might have happened after he left.

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Salahuddin was wanted by the CIA for allegedly murdering an Iranian diplomat in Maryland in 1980, and Levinson hoped the mission to deliver him to the agency would secure him full-time employment with the CIA, the source told the news organization at the time.

Iran reiterated its previous comments about the case, saying it had been trying to find out about Mr Levinson's condition "but could not find any signs of him being alive". This is the very definition of cruelty.

"Iran must provide a complete accounting of what occurred with Bob Levinson before the United States can fully accept what happened in this case", White House national-security adviser Robert O'Brien said in a statement about the American, who disappeared in Iran 13 years ago, when he was 58.

The Trump administration on November 4, 2019, offered a reward of up to $20 million for information about Levinson. "He will never be forgotten - we will make sure of it". "While the investigation is ongoing, we believe that Bob Levinson may have passed away some time ago". He was a great gentleman, and a great family.

The family received proof-of-life photos and a video in late 2010 and early 2011, but Levinson's whereabouts and fate were not known.

Levinson, who was Jewish, is survived by his wife, Christine, seven children, and numerous grandchildren.

Archin, who served as the Defense Department's Iran country director, examined the files last fall following the odd admission by Tehran's judicial system to a United Nations body that an open case against Levinson existed despite 12 years of denials by the regime that he ever was detained there.

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