US President Barack Obama has promised to find the missing former FBI agent, Robert Levinson, and return him to his family.
Levinson, 67, reportedly went missing during a visit to Iran’s southern Kish Island in March 2007 and his whereabouts have remained unknown ever since. There are different reports about the aim of his trip with some saying the man, who had become a private detective, was reportedly investigating cigarette counterfeiting in the region. Others said he was on a business trip.
Back in 2010, a video was sent to the Levinsons, reportedly showing the man demanding help for his release. Also in early 2011, some of his images were emailed to the family.
American officials have dismissed US media reports in 2013 that Levinson was on a spying mission for the CIA.
This is while Iranian authorities had also promised help to determine the fate of the missing US national.
On Saturday, Iran released five Iranian-American prisoners as part of a prisoner exchange agreement with the US.
The United States in return freed seven Iranians held in US prisons.
A day after Iran’s release, Obama said, “Even as we rejoice in the safe return of others, we will never forget about Bob (Robert Levinson).”
“Each and every day, but especially today, our hearts are with the Levinson family, and we will not rest until their family is whole again,” Obama said in a White House speech.
Also, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Iran also agreed to deepen our coordination as we work to locate Robert Levinson. We won’t rest until the Levinson family is whole again.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced a $5 million reward for information leading to his return. “The FBI expects our Iranian counterparts to fulfill their commitment to locate Bob and help bring him home safely,” the agency said in a Sunday stateme