It’s been a year since American citizen and former F.B.I. agent Robert Levinson disappeared during a business trip to Kish Island in Iran. In December, his wife, son, and sister-in-law traveled to Iran to ask the Iranian government for help in finding the sixty-year-old father of seven.
Although the Iranian authorities guaranteed the security of the family during their trip, they offered the family no concrete information during their quest. Authorities in Tehran had promised their continued assistance, but so far, neither the family nor the embassy of Switzerland, which represents U.S. interests in the absence of diplomatic relations, has received any updates.
U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey says the U.S. continues to press the Iranian government about Mr. Levinson:
“We believe that after a year has gone by that the Iranian government certainly must have or be able to obtain information on Mr. Levinson’s whereabouts – information that will help us find him and reunite him with his family.”
Mr. Casey says the lack of support from the Iranian government is “baffling.”
“This is not a political issue. This is an issue about an individual who’s gone missing from Iran, a place where there are very close tabs kept on foreigners. And in a situation in which we certainly have concerns that a year has gone by and we have not heard from him. So we want to do everything that we can to be able to get the Iranians to respond on what is, again, a basic humanitarian effort.”
In a written statement, Mr. Casey said, “If Iran is holding Mr. Levinson, we demand that the Iranian authorities notify us to that effect, grant the Swiss consular access [to him], and reunite him with his family.”
Mr. Levinson's family held a "rally of hope" in their home state of Florida March 9th, the one year anniversary of his disappearance. "Each day," says Mrs. Levinson, "I get up and hope today will be the day that I'll bring him home."