This month marks 14 years since the disappearance of beloved husband, father, grandfather and former FBI agent Robert Levinson. In December, the United States sanctioned two high-ranking officials of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security who [are believed to have been] involved in the abduction, and likely death of Bob Levinson. “However, this case is not closed,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement.
The Secretary noted that he had recently spoken with the Levinson family. Since his abduction in 2007, Mr. Levinson has missed graduations, marriages, and the birth of all but one of his grandchildren. Mr. Levinson’s family continues to advocate for the answers about what happened after he went to Kish Island in Iran 14 years ago.
Other Americans are currently trapped in Iran. One of them is Baquer Namazi. The Iranian government released the ailing 84-year-old Iranian-American from prison in 2018 because of his serious medical problems but has barred him from leaving the country, even though it commuted his remaining prison sentence last year.
Baquer Namazi was arrested five years ago after he flew to Iran to visit his son Siamak, a businessman who had been wrongfully detained in Iran in 2015. Both father and son were falsely charged with cooperating with an enemy power.
On the recent anniversary of Baquer Namazi’s arrest, Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens tweeted, “Today is another sad day for @FreetheNamazis as this American family continues to be separated. For five years, Iran has held U.S. citizen Baquer Namazi while his U.S. son Siamak is wrongfully held in Evin Prison. #Iran must allow them to be reunited and together in freedom.”
“We call on the Iranian government to provide credible answers to what happened to Bob Levinson and to immediately and safely release all U.S. citizens who are unjustly held captive in Iran,” declared Secretary Blinken. “The abhorrent act of unjust detentions for political gain must cease immediately.”