Bahram Qassemi

Spokesman: Iran not aware of ex-FBI agent’s fate

FNA- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi announced that his country has no information about the fate of Bob Levinson, a retired FBI agent who disappeared in 2007.

“He had a trip to Iran in a period of time and then left Iran,” Qassemi said on Saturday after a US senator claimed that the future of ties between Tehran and Washington depends on clearing Levinson’s fate.

“We have announced this issue before too and we don’t have any information about him since he left Iran,” he added.

Noting that Iran sees no reason for being informed of the fate of everyone who travels to the country, Qassemi said, “A person has come to Iran and then left the country. We don’t have any information about where he is now.”

Also in 2013, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Levinson is not incarcerated in Iran.

“What we know (is) that he is not incarcerated in Iran,” Zarif said in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation”.

The Iranian foreign minister added that Levinson’s fate was “a mystery”.

“If he is, he’s not incarcerated by the government, and I believe the government runs the, pretty much, good control of the country,” he added.

Asked whether Iran would return him if he were found, Zarif said, “If we can trace him and find him, we will certainly discuss this.”

Certain US media have quoted the American officials who were briefed on the investigation as claiming that FBI investigators believe Robert Levinson, if he is still alive, is being held in Iran despite public statements from US officials in other agencies indicating he may be elsewhere.

White House and State Department officials have long said they believe Levinson is not in Iran but somewhere else in Southwest Asia. Some officials cited a proof-of-life video and photos sent to his family in 2010 and 2011 that gave clues that indicated Levinson was in Pakistan or elsewhere. At the time, an analysis of the video suggested as much. What is in agreement among US agencies is the possibility that Levinson died years ago in captivity, the officials say.