Press TV- Iran has dismissed a recent claim by the US Department of State about the Islamic Republic’s commitment to find and bring retired FBI agent Robert Levinson back home, saying Tehran has no information about him.
“Robert Levinson had traveled to Iran at a juncture and then left our country and the Islamic Republic of Iran has no information about his fate after that,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday.
Levinson reportedly visited Iran’s southern Kish Island on March 9, 2007. He later went missing and his whereabouts have remained unknown ever since. There are different reports about the aim of his trip, with some saying the man, who had become a private detective, was reportedly investigating cigarette counterfeiting in the region. Others said he was on a business trip.
Back in 2010, a video was sent to the Levinsons, reportedly showing the man demanding help for his release. Also in early 2011, some of his images were emailed to the family.
On the 11th anniversary of Levinson’s disappearance from Kish, the US Department of State on Friday claimed that Iran had “committed to cooperating with the United States to assist us in bringing Robert Levinson home” and called on Iran “to fulfill this commitment.”
Qassemi said Iran pursued a “humanitarian approach” to Levinson’s case, adding, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has no commitment to the US government in this regard and Iran’s assistance in the past had been based on humanitarian considerations.”
He rejected as “unfounded and baseless” claims about Iran’s lack of cooperation with the US to help gather information on the fate of the former American law enforcement officer and said Tehran had spared no efforts in this regard.
He said Iran’s cooperation on the American national’s case came as the US government had pursued an inhumane approach to Iranian nationals imprisoned in the United States.
Qassemi emphasized that Washington had not only kept Iranian nationals in prison for long periods of time with baseless charges such as the violation of the US sanctions, but it also gave no permission to their families to meet them.
The FBI has offered a five-million-dollar reward for any information that could lead to Levinson’s safe return.