The Government of Iran finally admitted this weekend that they do have American hostage Robert Levinson, who disappeared in 2007 and President Obama failed to recover in 2011 and 2013. Levinson is the longest-held American hostage in history.
In a filing with the United Nations, the Iranian Revolutionary Court said they are still holding Levinson as part of an “ongoing case.” The U.N. filing read:
“According to the last statement of Tehran’s Justice Department, Mr. Robert Alan Levinson has an ongoing case in the Public Prosecution and Revolutionary Court of Tehran”
They did not offer any information about their case, charges, or the exact condition of the captured FBI Agent.
The release of the information by Iran, however, follows a renewed push by President Trump to recover Robert Levinson. He offered a $20 million reward for information leading to him.
Levinson disappeared in 2007 from Kirsh Island in Iran. Despite claims from the government that his trip was private, it was revealed in 2013 that Levinson was actually spying on Iran for the CIA off the books.
Robert Levinson’s family received a message from his captors with mocking images of him in 2011. They shared them publicly in 2013, claiming that the Obama Administration had failed to act when they tried to go through the government.
Even when Barack Obama finally began to push for the Levinson family, Iran firmly denied any knowledge of it. The Iranian President even offered to help Obama track down Levinson’s location, despite Iran being the ones holding him.
Interestingly, President Obama was making moves towards his signature Iranian nuclear deal at the time, so it is possible he was aware of Levinson’s location but simply didn’t want Iran to look bad.
While this is certainly great news that Robert Levinson has been discovered and is still alive, the issue is far from over. President Trump is almost certain to begin pushing against Iran even harder to have him returned home.