Clinton says ex-FBI agent Levinson might be held in southwest Asia

March 4th, 2011 - 4:10 am ICT by BNO News  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday said the United States has received “recent indications” that American private detective and former FBI agent Robert “Bob” Levinson is still alive.

Levinson went missing in Iran in March 2007 in what officials described as a business trip to Kish Island. Suspicion remains that Iranian officials may have detained Levinson, although there is no known evidence to support this.

Clinton provided few details about the latest developments in the case, but said Levinson might be in southwest Asia. “As we approach the fourth anniversary of Bob Levinson’s disappearance, we have received recent indications that Bob is being held somewhere in southwest Asia,” she said.

Clinton urged the Iranian government to take humanitarian efforts to safely return and reunite Levinson with his family. “We would appreciate the Iranian government’s efforts in this matter,” she added.

In September 2010, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad briefly discussed the case during an interview with former CNN host Larry King. “He came and he left,” Ahmadinejad said during the interview.

But Ahmadinejad signaled doubts about Levinson’s reasons to visit Kish Island, an Iranian resort island in the Persian Gulf. “If the FBI were to give more information about the purpose of this trip and what information he had and where his other destinations were, we might be able to assist further in the case,” the President said.

In July 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with the wife of Levington to discuss the case. “We continue to have no information about his welfare, and reiterate our call for the government of Iran to provide any information that it has about his whereabouts,” Obama said. “It is time to facilitate Robert Levinson’s return to the family and friends who have suffered so greatly in his absence.”

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