Four years after an ex-FBI agent disappeared while investigating a smuggling case in a resort island in Iran, Secretary of State announced Thursday that the US man is alive and is imprisoned "somewhere in southwest Asia."
A report by The Washington Post said that the 63-year-old Robert Levinson, resident of Florida, who vanished on 9 March 2007 in Iran's Kish Island is being detained in a vague location according to unidentified sources received by the US government.
Clinton did not explain further the details of the information but said the White House called the Iranian government to seek repatriation.
The Secretary of State said, "As the government of Iran has previously offered its assistance in this matter, we respectfully request the Iranian government to undertake humanitarian efforts to safely return and reunite Bob with his family."
The 27-year FBI veteran who worked as a private detective after his retirement was then investigating on a tobacco-smuggling case on behalf on several corporations.
Since Levinson's disappearance, there had been many speculations that he was jailed for suspected espionage or kidnapped by the bandits.
According to an American fugitive living in Iran, Dawud Salahuddin, who met the retired agent before his disappearance, he was captured by security forces off Iran's southern coast. A few weeks later, the state media reported that the Florida man was "in the hands of Iranian security forces."
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