The U.S. State Department has once again called on the Iranian government to cooperate with U.S. authorities in the case of an American citizen who disappeared in Iran more than 19 months ago. Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent, traveled to Iran's Kish Island on business in March 2007. He vanished after checking out of his hotel on March 9, 2007.
U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the U.S. "remains committed to determining Mr. Levinson's whereabouts and returning him safely to his family":
"We once again urge Iran to share any and all information uncovered about the Levinson case, and we ask anyone else who may have information about the case to contact us or the Levinson family via their website."
That website is www.helpboblevinson.com.
In December 2007, Mr. Levinson's wife and son traveled to Iran to search for him. While Iranian authorities guaranteed the safety of the family, the authorities did not provide the Levinsons with details about any official Iranian investigation. Mr. McCormack said the U.S. believes "the Iranian Government ... still has it within its power to help with more information concerning Mr. Levinson."
The U.S. Congress has also shown interest in the case. Senator Bill Nelson recently introduced a resolution urging "the U.S. government and ... allies to press Iran on this case, at every opportunity and at every level." In remarks about the resolution, Senator Nelson pointed out that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in an interview with NBC news in July, promised that Iranian authorities would cooperate with the FBI in investigating Mr. Levinson's disappearance. Senator Nelson called on Tehran to fulfill its commitment and meet with the FBI to discuss any evidence it may have uncovered about the case.
State Department spokesman McCormack said, "The family, the U.S. government – we're always looking for ways to ... break loose that vital piece of information or vital lead that may help us."