After 2 Years, No Word On American Missing In Iran

By: Lisa Orkin Emmanuel, Associated Press Email
By: Lisa Orkin Emmanuel, Associated Press Email

MIAMI (AP) - A Senate resolution on Monday urged the president
and U.S. allies to push the Iranian government for information on
an ex-FBI agent who disappeared two years ago in Iran while
investigating cigarette smuggling for a client of his private
security firm.

Robert Levinson, a retired agent from Coral Springs, Fla., was
last seen on Iran's Kish Island on March 8, 2007. Since then, his
family has gotten no clues to his whereabouts and no information
from the Iranian government, said his wife, Christine Levison, who
was in Washington Monday to push for the measure.

"It's more that the Iranian government has been very closed
off. They have been unable to speak to me and give me any
information," she said in a telephone interview.

The resolution calls on the president and U.S. allies to bring
up Levinson's case with Iranian officials at every opportunity and
urges Iran to assist the family and share news on the investigation
with the FBI, which said it is helping the State Department get
information.

Christine Levinson met with Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and his
office said the Senate passed the resolution unanimously Monday. A
similar measure is expected to be introduced next week in the U.S.
House by Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla.

The FBI said Robert Levinson was not doing any work for the
agency when he disappeared.

"We are concerned and hope for his safe return," said Special
Agent Richard Kolko in Washington. "We hope somebody has
information."

The family also released a computer-enhanced photograph of what
Robert Levinson, who turns 61 on Tuesday, may look like today.

In the meantime, Christine Levinson said she has been trying to
meet with officials at Iran's United Nations mission. She even flew
to New York in September hoping to meet with Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he spoke at the U.N.

A telephone message left at Iran's U.N. mission was not
immediately returned.

"There is no evidence to show that he left Iran at any point,"
State Department spokesman Rob McInturff said. "We continue to
work with the Swiss to press the Iranians."

The Swiss Embassy in Tehran handles U.S. interests there because
the U.S. and Iran have no formal diplomatic relations.

Levinson left home March 3, 2007, for a 10-day trip, his wife
said.

"My husband called me from Dubai, told me he was going to be
out of pocket ... and he would not be available by cell phone or
e-mail for the next 24 hours, that he loves me and would call me
when he got back to Dubai in 24 hours," she said of their last
conversation.

She says it was only after his disappearance that she found out
he was looking into cigarette smuggling.

"I took care of the home and he took care of the business,"
she said.

Now she says she focuses "on what I can do next to bring him
home."


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