In a statement on March 9, which marked 13 years since Robert Levinson went missing in Iran's Kish Island, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Iranian government's denial of knowledge of the former FBI agent's whereabouts or condition "defies credibility".
“Iran must honor the commitment it has made to work with the United States for Mr. Levinson’s return," Pompeo said in his statement.
Levinson disappeared on March 9, 2007, when he was scheduled to meet a source on the Iranian island of Kish. Initial reports indicated that Levinson was researching a cigarette smuggling case as a private investigator. A 2013 Associated Press investigation, however, revealed that Levinson had in fact been sent on a mission by CIA analysts who had no authority to run such an operation.
Brian Hook's message on the 13th anniversary of Levinson's disappearance
Levinson's family received proof-of-life photos and a video in late 2010 and early 2011 but no information about his whereabouts. The former FBI agent was not included in the prisoner swap on January 2016 that released four Americans held in Iran. Iran has always denied having any knowledge of Levinson's whereabouts or fate.
The U.S. State Department's Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, published in a video on the 13th anniversary of Levinson's disappearance also said Iran has not yet honored a commitment it made to the United States in 2015 to cooperate on the return of Bob Levinson to his family. The United States has offered a $20 million reward for information that can help bring him back home.
A federal judge on Monday held Iran responsible for the kidnapping of Robert Levinson, entering a default judgement against the Islamic Republic on the 13th anniversary of his disappearance.
In his 25-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly found that Iran “in no uncertain terms” was responsible for Levinson’s “hostage-taking and torture” and entered a default judgment after the country declined to respond to the lawsuit. The family sought more than $1.5 billion in damages. Most of that amount was in punitive damages, Associated Press reported on Monday.