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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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WFormer President Trump, right, and former Attorney General William Barr

Reprinted with permission from Press Run

Stunning new abuse-of-power revelations remind us of the Trump administration's complete disregard for democratic principles. We now know that over a span of years it took extraordinary legal measures, including gag orders and secret tribunals, in pursuit of email records from reporters at CNN and the Washington Post. Team Trump also unleashed the courts on Democratic members of Congress and their families trying to obtain private phone records, as well as secretly targeting a key White House attorney, who possibly fell under suspicion for not being sufficiently loyal to Trump.

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