Robert Levinson Now the Longest-Held American Hostage Ever
Robert Levinson, a retired agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has earned the unwelcomed distinction of being the longest-held American hostage by a foreign power.
Levinson disappeared on March 9, 2007, while working as a private investigator looking into cigarette smuggling on the Iranian resort island of Kish.
On November 27, his captivity hit 2,455 days, one more than journalist Terry Anderson, who was held by Hezbollah in Lebanon until 1991.
U.S. officials suspect that Iranian intelligence services are holding Levinson. His family last received photos of him in April 2011.
The subject of his captivity was raised by President Barack Obama when he spoke with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on September 27.
The White House this week publicly asked Iran again to release Levinson, as well as two other Americans being held: Saeed Abedini, a pastor from Boise, Idaho, and Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine.
“It is our view that all of these Americans should have the opportunity to come home,” Obama spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters. “The U.S. government has made a respectful request of the Iranian regime during this holiday season to consider on humanitarian grounds releasing these three Americans, or at least releasing the two Americans we know are detained and locating the whereabouts of the third, Mr. Levinson.”
To Learn More:
Retired FBI Agent Becomes Longest Held Hostage after More than Six Years in Iran (by Joseph Straw, New York Daily News)
US Pleads for Release of Ex-FBI Agent Held in Iran (Associated Press)
Ex-FBI Agent Still Missing in Iran after almost 4 Years (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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