FBI offers $1 million in ex-agent Iran disappearance

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 06, 2012 10:49 AM
FBI offers $1 million in ex-agent Iran disappearance

By Jeremy Pelofsky

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the safe return of one of its former agents, Robert Levinson, who vanished in Iran in 2007 and is believed to be held hostage there.

The FBI made the reward announcement almost five years after Levinson, a former FBI special agent, disappeared from Kish Island in Iran while on a business trip. Iran's government has said previously that it has no information about his whereabouts.

Washington cut diplomatic relations with Tehran shortly after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution and the two countries are at odds over a range of issues, including Iran's disputed nuclear program.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said a year ago that there were indications that Levinson was being held in Southwest Asia and she sought Iran's help in getting information about him. Tehran said then it would try to assist in locating him.

Last December a video surfaced of Levinson looking gaunt and appealing for help because he was "running very quickly out of diabetes medicine."

Levinson's wife and son posted their own video in response asking his captors to tell them their demands for his release.

(Reporting By Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by Paul Simao)