Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent, disappeared in Iran in March 2007. – Levinson’s family reportedly received proof that he is alive, and the U.S. has confirmed the authenticity of the information:
As years passed, many in the U.S. government believed the 63-year-old with diabetes and high blood pressure might have died. But late last year, Levinson’s family received proof that he was alive. Investigators confirmed its authenticity and that it was recent, current and former officials said. Officials say they believe he is still alive.
Robert Levinson vanished in 2007 while working as a private investigator on Kish Island, a popular tourist resort in the Persian Gulf. Since then the Tehran regime has rebuffed all efforts from his family to discover his fate, insisting it has no information.
But testimony from a political prisoner who managed to flee the country casts doubt on the official Iranian line and indicates that Mr Levinson may have spent time in one of the Revolutionary Guard’s notorious secret jails.
The informant, who was detained in August 2009 amid the civil unrest sparked by the country’s disputed presidential elections, claims that he saw the words “B. LEVINSON” written on the frame of his cell, beneath three lines of English which he assumed to be a “plea for help”.
While there is skepticism about the informant above, a diplomat said the man asked for no compensation or favors of any kind. The quote is attributed to a WikiLeak leak of a diplomatic cable.
Iran shares borders with the southwest Asian countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan, raising the possibility that Levinson was shuttled into one of those countries. Both border crossings are known smuggling routes. The route into Pakistan leads into a lawless tribal region that’s home to insurgents, terrorist groups and criminal organizations.
Levinson disappeared after a meeting with Dawud Salahuddin, an American fugitive wanted for the assassination of a former Iranian diplomat in Maryland in 1980. Salahuddin has said he last saw Levinson being questioned by Iranian officials. Levinson’s distinctive signature was used to check out of his hotel, but he never made it to the airport.