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Monday, October 24, 2016

Washington (AFP) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday marked seven years since the disappearance in Iran of American Robert Levinson and urged Tehran to work with Washington to ensure his safe return.

“Robert Levinson disappeared seven years ago from Kish Island, Iran, during a business trip. He is one of the longest held American citizens in history,” Kerry said in a statement.

“Mr Levinson’s disappearance has been heart-wrenching for his wife and children, who feel his absence especially deeply at the many family milestones missed these past seven years,” Kerry said.

“We respectfully ask the government of Iran to work cooperatively with us on the investigation into his disappearance so we can ensure his safe return,” the statement said.

“This is the seventh year that Mr Levinson has spent without his family. We remain committed to the hard work ahead to ensure that it’s his last.”

Levinson, a retired FBI agent, flew to the Iranian resort island of Kish in March 2007.

The U.S. government repeatedly said he was on a business trip when he disappeared, but news reports in recent months have said the CIA had been paying him to gather intelligence.

Iran has said it is not holding Levinson, and denies any knowledge of his whereabouts.

The United States has offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the safe return of Levinson, who turns 66 on Monday.

“Given Mr Levinson’s health, age, and length of time in captivity, we mark this anniversary with a special sense of urgency,” he said.

AFP Photo

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  • Ann-Marie Poli

    I have followed this man’s story and the heroic dedication of his family for some time now. The media and the government have been far less deserving of praise. I have sent emails to both Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary Kerry, as well as many congressmen and senators, and nost major television personalities. I received one brief, kind “thank you for your concern” from Bill Richardson, but that’s it. Even here the event is marked, but no details really discussed. If anyone had picked up a phone and asked to talk to one of his kids, I am sure they would have loved to talk endlessly about their dad, his kidnapping and what they have been through. I encourage up you to please do that. Remember the hikers who were detained? Their plight was talked about daily, and their story was on everyone’s lips. I believe with all my heart that is what got them released. As long as the American people aren’t clamoring for Bob’s release, there is no incentive for Iran to do anything. The media has the power to decide what is a story. You guys wag the dog. Help make Bob Levinson, an American held hostage in an Iranian prison for 7 years, the topic of conversation. You have the power to help bring this man home. Please contact his family, and follow up on this story. There is so much left unsaid here.

    • patti livernash

      my Aunty Grace got a nearly new blue Kia by
      working part time from the internet. look at this now J­u­m­p­9­9­9­.­ℂ­o­m

    • Dominick Vila

      Bear in mind that we seldom hear about the diplomatic talks that are an integral part of the negotiations to find a satisfactory conclusion to issues such as this. Unfortunately, very little progress has been made. This is, indeed, a very sad story, and it is not too hard to imagine the problems that both he and his family are enduring.