While some American hostages being held by the Islamic regime in Iran have been freed, Bob Levinson’s case has always been more ambiguous because there was never even a public admission that he was being held, let alone any actual court dates.
Levinson, who is now 71, disappeared in Iran in 2007. He was a private investigator and former FBI agent, supposedly working for the CIA.
Initially, Iran claimed that it was holding him, and then spent the next decade pretending that they had no idea what happened to him.
Photos and videos of him, seemingly, being held hostage have been released. Now, Iran is seemingly admitting that it has him.
Iran acknowledged for the first time in a filing with the United Nations that there is an “on going case” in the Public Prosecution and Revolutionary Court of Tehran for retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who went missing in the country during an unauthorized CIA mission in 2007, stoking questions about his disappearance.
“According to the last statement of Tehran’s Justice Department, Mr. Robert Alan Levinson has an on going [sic] case in the Public Prosecution and Revolutionary Court of Tehran,” the filing with the U.N.’s Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances said. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the filing Saturday.
Iranian officials did not say how long the case has been open or how it started.
Apparently 12 years.
It goes without saying that there’s no actual court case.
Iran, in the past, had signaled that it might be willing to negotiate for his release, but unlike other hostages, it’s likely that Levinson actually knows something damaging to the regime. Probably involving its drug trafficking. The information probably isn’t actionable anymore, but the steps that the regime has taken to distance itself from his abduction suggests that it would be politically damaging.
It’s well known that Iran’s Islamic regime funds some of its activities through drug trafficking. Some members of the regime are likely worried about being implicated in what they think Levinson learned. And despite over a decade of imprisonment and abuse, they’re still hesitant to openly negotiate for him, the way they have for other hostages.
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