Retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who went missing in Iran 13 years ago, is believed to have died in Iranian custody, his family says.
“We recently received information from U.S. officials that has led both them and us to conclude that our wonderful husband and father died while in Iranian custody,” the Levinson family said in a statement on March 25.
"We don’t know when or how he died, only that it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” it added.
Levinson disappeared when he traveled to the Iranian resort of island Kish Island in March 2007. He was working for the CIA as a contractor at the time.
The United States has repeatedly called on Iran to help locate Levinson and bring him home, but Iranian officials said they had no information about his fate.
Levinson was “sick for a long time” before he was detained, U.S. President Donald Trump said, adding that he felt “terribly” for the family but still had some hope that Levinson is alive.
“It’s not looking great, but I won’t accept that he’s dead,” Trump said at a White House news conference.
The Levinson family said he would be alive today “if not for the cruel, heartless actions of the Iranian regime."
“How those responsible in Iran could do this to a human being, while repeatedly lying to the world all this time, is incomprehensible to us. They kidnapped a foreign citizen and denied him any basic human rights, and his blood is on their hands,” the statement added.