The U.S. State Department is demanding that Iran release FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared on Kish Island off Iran four years ago. The area, known for its underworld connections, is also known as a Free Trade Zone where American citizens are not required to have a travel visa.
Levinson, who left active FBI service in 1998, was working as a private investigator on a cigarette smuggling case when the trail went cold in March 2007.
According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, there are indications that Levinson is being held in the southwestern section of the country. The American government asked Iran to make every effort to return him safely to his family.
Iran has categorically denied any knowledge of Levinson. “Because the Iranian government has previously offered its help on this issue, we ask the Iranian government to return Bob in peace and for humanitarian reasons so that he may be united with his family,” said Clinton.
In recent years the United States has been concerned that Levinson, 63, had died due to the fact that he suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure. However, his family received “irrefutable proof” that he was alive as recently as late last year, according to the Associated Press.
Details of the case were not released for publication because U.S. officials did not want to jeopardize efforts to secure his release.