White House believes Levinson is no longer in Iran

The White House says retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who the US claims disappeared in Iran some eight years ago, is no longer in the country.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest made the announcement on Tuesday, marking the first time the administration is refusing to point a finger at Tehran over the matter.

Earnest said he rested assured that Iran would search for Levinson.

Tehran has categorically denied any involvement in his disappearance allegedly in the southern Kish Island on March 9, 2007.

According to a report by the Associated Press on December 12, 2013, the former FBI agent worked for the CIA.

He was claimed to be visiting Iran to investigate a cigarette smuggling case.

Earnest’s remarks followed a prisoner swap between the two countries.

The four dual-national prisoners that Iran released comprised The Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian; Saeed Abedini, a Christian pastor; Amir Hekmati, a former US Marine, and another inmate named Nosratollah Khosravi.

Levinson’s family reacted to the release by censuring the Obama administration over failure to inform them that he was not among those freed.

“We had to learn it from the TV ourselves, and that’s very disappointing and heartbreaking,” Robert Levinson’s wife, Christine, told AP.

By Press TV