The family of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared on an island off the Iranian coast 13 years ago, said on Wednesday that he died in Iran – the longest-held hostage in American history.
“We have recently received information from US officials that both she and us have concluded that our wonderful husband and father died in Iranian detention,” his family said in a statement on Wednesday.
Family members said they did not know how or when he died, “only that it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The World Health Organization declared the virus outbreak a pandemic on March 11. On March 9, the FBI’s Washington office noted the anniversary of his disappearance and called the date “another opportunity for the Iranian government’s leadership to finally return Bob home.” to his family. “The family apparently received the latest information afterwards.
The Iranian government did not respond to a request for comment.
Levinson, who spent 22 years with the FBI, was missing on March 9, 2007 during a business trip to the Iranian island of Kish. At the time, the US government claimed that he was alone there. But six years later, federal officials reluctantly admitted that he was doing contract work for the CIA there.
At the time of disclosure, his family said the U.S. government had failed to make his recovery the priority it should have been.
The only known traces of Levinson appeared in 2011 when family members posted photos and a video asking for help.
“I’ve been here for three and a half years. I’m not in very good health. I run out of diabetes medicine very quickly,” he said on the recording.
Iranian officials steadfastly denied knowing anything about him, despite requests from the United States and requests from other countries that had better ties to Iran.
“Those who are responsible for what happened to Bob Levinson, including those in the United States government who have left him repeatedly for years, will ultimately receive justice for what they have done,” the family said .