AFP: The wife of an ex-FBI agent who the United States says disappeared in Iran this year arrived in Tehran on Tuesday seeking to find information about her missing husband, an AFP correspondent reported. TEHRAN (AFP) The wife of an ex-FBI agent who the United States says disappeared in Iran this year arrived in Tehran on Tuesday seeking to find information about her missing husband, an AFP correspondent reported.
Christine Levinson arrived at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini international airport at around 11:00 pm (1930 GMT) on a flight from Paris along with her son Daniel and sister Susan, the correspondent said.
Washington says Robert Levinson went missing in March while on a business trip to Iran’s southern island of Kish and his whereabouts have remained a mystery ever since.
Iran gave visas the Levinson family for the visit and has said it has no problem with her trip. But the State Department has also urged Tehran to be more forthcoming with any information about the case.
The family is expected to hold talks with Iranian officials in meetings set up in coordination with the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which looks after American interests in Iran in the absence of a US mission.
Wearing a black headscarf and long coat in line with Islamic dress regulations, Christine Levinson was met at the airport by two Swiss embassy officials.
“We truly appreciate the continued support for our family as we pray for a Christmas miracle,” the Levinson family said just ahead of their arrival in a message on the website they set up to find Robert Levinson.
Iran has always said it had no record of Levinson even entering the country and vehemently denied speculation it detained him.
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 the family’s website.
The website also says he was investigating cigarette smuggling in the area on behalf of a private client.
To this end, on March 8 he met Dawud Salahuddin (former name David Belfield), an American-born convert to Islam who has lived in Iran for almost three decades and is wanted by the United States on charges of murder, it says.
Salahuddin, who was charged with murdering a pre-revolution Iranian diplomat in 1980, made a bizarre cinema appearance playing an English-speaking doctor in top Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s 2001 film “Khandahar”.
Kish is a free-trade zone which 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 require a visa for short stays on Kish.
The mystery of Levinson’s disappearance is a further strain in relations between the United States and Iran, who have had no diplomatic ties since 1980.