In 2007, former FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared on an Iranian island – he is now apparently dead. The US is now blaming the Iranians for the first time.che government.
For the first time, the US government has directly blamed Iran for the alleged death of ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared 13 years ago. The US Treasury Department on Monday imposed sanctions on two Iranian intelligence officials involved in Levinson’s “kidnapping, imprisonment and probable death.”
FBI chief Christopher Wray said Iran had pledged help to facilitate Levinson’s return to the United States in the past. But that never happened. “The truth is, Iranian intelligence officers were involved in the kidnapping and kidnapping of Bob with the consent of senior Iranian officials,” Wray said.
The US government paid compensation to Levinson’s wife
The Levinson case remains a mystery to this day: the former US federal police officer, who is said to have turned 72 this year, disappeared in March 2007 under mysterious circumstances on the Iranian island of Kisch, where he is said to have tracked down the trade in counterfeit cigarettes . The Washington Post reported in 2013 that Levinson was in fact spying for the US intelligence agency CIA in Iran. Accordingly, the US government paid Levinson’s wife $ 2.5 million in compensation.
In 2010 a video appeared with Levinson in orange prisoner clothes and with a note that read “Help me”. This led to speculation, later rejected by US officials, that Levinson could fall into the hands of Pakistani extremists. The Iranian government has always denied knowing about the ex-FBI employee’s disappearance.
The US sharply criticizes Iran
Levinson’s family announced this last Marchsaid she had received information from US government officials “who, like us, concluded that our wonderful husband and father died in Iranian captivity.”
The US government has now imposed sanctions on Iranian intelligence officers Mohammed Baseri and Ahmed Chasai. The possible possession of the two in the United States has been frozen – a mostly symbolic measure. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday accused Tehran of using the abduction of foreigners and Iranians with dual citizenship as a “political lever” for decades. The US government will not rest until all US citizens illegally detained in Iran are free again.
A government official said that without such releases, no new negotiations should be started with Tehran. Elected US President Joe Biden is aiming for the US to return to the international nuclear deal with Iran and then additional agreements with stricter rules for Iran’s nuclear and missile program.