Iran’s Foreign Ministry said it has seen “no trace” of a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who disappeared in the Persian Gulf nation four years ago and called on the U.S. to share information to help locate him.
If the U.S. has “consistent information, they can relay it to us,” Ramin Mehmanparast, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, told state TV today. “Through collective effort, we could do a more effective search.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a March 3 statement requested assistance from Iran to “undertake humanitarian efforts to safely return and reunite” Robert Levinson, 63, with his family. The U.S. has “recent indications” that Levinson, who went missing during a business trip to Iran in March 2007, is still alive and is being held somewhere in southwest Asia, Clinton said.
The U.S. accuses President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government of human-rights abuses and has spearheaded the imposition of sanctions on Iran over the country’s nuclear program, which it says is a cover for developing atomic weapons. Iran accuses the U.S. of fueling discord in the Middle East and maintains its nuclear work is intended to generate electricity.
Levinson, who was working as a private detective, was on Kish Island, a free economic zone off Iran’s southern coast, according to Associated Press reports at the time. The Iranian government has said it has no record of the former FBI agent’s presence on Kish.
Levinson disappeared after a meeting with Dawud Salahuddin, an American fugitive wanted for the assassination of a former Iranian diplomat in Maryland in 1980, according to AP. Salahuddin has said he last saw Levinson being questioned by Iranian officials, it said.