Robert Levinson's family confirms former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent died in Iranian custody

Nellie Chapman
March 27, 2020

The Trump administration says former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Robert Levinson, who vanished in Iran during an unauthorised Central Intelligence Agency mission, died while in Tehran's custody, according to a statement from his family.

"He is here using the cover of a tourist while conducting various meetings, taking pictures and gathering information", an Iranian counterintelligence official appears to have informed military prosecutor Hojatol-Islam Bahrami in March 2007, who then ordered Levinson's immediate arrest by "MOIS (Ministry of Intelligence) brothers" in a handwritten reply on the typed memo.

The US president added: "I won't accept that he's dead".

USA officials have not specified the nature or circumstances of Levinson's death, except to say they believe it happened some time ago.

Wray writes in the email that he himself met with the Levinson family and "explained that the most credible evidence we have collected over the past 13 years points to the likelihood that Bob died in captivity". "If not for the cruel, heartless actions of the Iranian regime, Robert Levinson would be alive and home with us today".

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

But it also said: "Those who are responsible for what happened to Bob Levinson, including those in the US government who for many years repeatedly left him behind, will ultimately receive justice for what they have done".

Another theory of United States officials was that the Iranian government could have routed the images externally in an effort to blame Mr Levinson's disappearance on someone else. The person said the information about Levinson had come from Iran's foreign minister. This is the very definition of cruelty.

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USA officials have not specified the nature or circumstances of Levinson's death, except to say they believe it happened some time ago.

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said in a statement on Wednesday: "While the investigation is ongoing, we believe that Bob Levinson may have passed away some time ago". "Our family will spend the rest of our lives without the most incredible man we have ever known, a new reality that is inconceivable to us".

He was the longest-held hostage in United States history. "The safe return of all Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained overseas remains a top priority of the Trump administration".

Iranian officials steadfastly denied knowing anything about him, despite queries from the US and requests through other countries that had better relations with Iran. "He will never be forgotten - we will make sure of it".

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.

The judge's decision followed a weekslong trial of emotional testimony from Levinson's family, including from each of his seven children.

What happened to Robert Levinson?

Tehran denied knowledge of Levinson's whereabouts until November past year when it acknowledged that there was an ongoing case involving him before its revolutionary court.

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