We urge the Iranian Government to release Mr. Hekmati and Mr. Abedini and to help us locate Mr. Levinson.
The United States is concerned about the well-being of three of its citizens--Robert Levinson, Amir Hekmati, and Saeed Abedini—and respectfully asks the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to work cooperatively with us in our efforts to return them to their families.
Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent, husband, and the father of 7 children, went missing from Kish Island, Iran on March 9, 2007 while researching a smuggling case as a private investigator. It has been more than two years since his family received photos from a group purporting to be holding him, which was the last indication he was still alive.
We are also deeply concerned about the fate of two young men who hold dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship, Amir Hekmati and Saeed Abedini.
Mr. Hekmati, a former U.S. marine, was detained by authorities when he was visiting family in Iran in August 2011. He was sentenced to death on false espionage charges, a sentence that was later overturned by Iran’s Supreme Court; however, he remains in prison and his status is uncertain.
Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini was born in Iran and converted to Christianity in 2000. He became a U.S. citizen in 2010. Arrested in 2012 during a trip to Iran, he was sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of attempting to undermine state security by leading a network of Christian churches in private homes. On September 26, Mr. Abedini will have spent one year in detention in Iran.
President Rouhani has shared in his speeches and interviews over the past few months his hope and vision to improve the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s relationship with the world.
We urge the Iranian Government to release Mr. Hekmati and Mr. Abedini and to help us locate Mr. Levinson so that they may be reunited with their families as safely and as soon as possible.