Tags: Donald Trump | Iran | Middle East | Trump Administration | robert levinson | fbi | prisoner

Bob Levinson's Family Says US Concludes He Died in Iran

Daniel Levinson shows a picture of his father, ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, holding his grandson Ryan
Daniel Levinson shows a picture of his father, ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, holding his grandson Ryan. (Behrouz Mehri/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 March 2020 05:53 PM

The family of Robert Levinson, a federal agent missing for over 13 years, has announced U.S. officials conclude he has died in Iran custody before the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Help Bob Levinson Facebook page and Twitter account posted the family's joint statement:

"Today, with aching hearts, we are sharing devastating news about Robert Levinson, the head of our family. 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. We don't know when or how he died, only that it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic."

Levinson disappeared in Iran's Kish Island in 2007 while on an unauthorized CIA mission. The announcement of his death comes just weeks after a federal judge in Washington held Iran liable for his disappearance.

Top intelligence officials from inside the White House Situation Room shared the "strong evidence" Levinson died sometime in the past several years, a source told The New York Times.

The family posted blame for the "heartless" Iranian regime and praised President Donald Trump and his administration for doing "all they could to make our family whole again."

"If not for the cruel, heartless actions of the Iranian regime, Robert Levinson would be alive and home with us today," the statement continued. "It has been 13 years waiting for answers. Thirteen years since we last saw him or had any contact with him. 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.

"Bob Levinson should have spent his last moments surrounded by his family and all the love we feel for him. Instead, he died alone, in captivity thousands of miles away, in unbelievable suffering. His body has not yet been returned to us for a proper burial. We don't even know when, or even if, his body would be returned to us. This is the very definition of cruelty."

The family is calling for continued U.S. efforts to return Levinson's remains to the family.

"Those who are responsible for what happened to Bob Levinson, including those in the U.S. government who for many years repeatedly left him behind, will ultimately receive justice for what they have done," the statement read. "We will spend the rest of our lives making sure of this, and the Iranian regime must know we will not be going away.

"We expect American officials, as well as officials around the world, to continue to press Iran to seek Bob's return, and to ensure those Iranian officials involved are held accountable."

The family's statement thanked the efforts of:

"President Trump and the members of his Administration – National Security Advisor Robert C. O'Brien, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, C.I.A. Director Gina Haspel, and FBI Director Christopher Wray – and their staff, who have done all they could to make our family whole again. We are so grateful for their efforts."

"Our family also wishes to thank Congressman Ted Deutch, Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Bob Menendez, and their staff members, who fought for Bob Levinson in every possible way."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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The family of Robert Levinson, a federal agent missing for over 13 years, has announced U.S. officials conclude he has died in Iran custody before the global coronavirus pandemic.
robert levinson, fbi, prisoner, hostage, federal agent
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2020-53-25
Wednesday, 25 March 2020 05:53 PM
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