AFP: Iran said on Sunday it was seeking clues over the fate of a US former FBI agent who reportedly disappeared while visiting the Islamic republic six months ago. TEHRAN (AFP) Iran said on Sunday it was seeking clues over the fate of a US former FBI agent who reportedly disappeared while visiting the Islamic republic six months ago.
The fate of Robert Levinson, who Washington says went missing in March while on a private visit to Iran’s southern island of Kish, has remained a mystery ever since with Iran insisting it has no information about him.
“The Iranian authorities are seeking to find traces of him and the officials’ efforts are ongoing,” foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told reporters.
Iran has always said it had no record of Levinson even entering the country. It was not clear if the spokesman’s comments represented any change in that position.
Hosseini said that “information” requested by the Americans had been sent to the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which represents US interests in Iran in the absence of a US mission.
Levinson’s wife Christine said last month that she wanted to visit Iran to search for her husband, but Hosseini said that “no request” for a visa had been received by Iranian officials.
Hosseini also said Swiss embassy officials “requested to travel to Kish and Iranian officials wanted them to provide the reasons why such a trip is necessary,” without elaborating.
The Washington Post reported last week that Iran blocked the request for Swiss diplomats to visit Kish to look for traces of the missing Levinson, in particular his luggage.
Levinson, who retired from federal service 10 years ago, went missing on March 8 on Kish, the same day that he arrived on the island on an Iranian airline and checked into a hotel, according to his wife’s website.
Kish is an island off Iran’s southern coast which is a free trade zone and is being heavily promoted by the authorities as a resort with attractive beaches and diving.
In contrast to mainland Iran, most foreign nationals do not even require a visa for short stays on Kish.