The family of Bob Levinson, an American FBI agent held hostage in Iran for thirteen years, believes he is no longer alive. He was kidnapped from Kish Island, Iran on March 9, 2007.
"Today, with aching hearts, we are sharing devastating news about Robert Levinson, the head of our family. We recently received information from U.S. officials that has led both them and us to conclude that our wonderful husband and father died while in Iranian custody. We don’t know when or how he died, only that it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is impossible to describe our pain. Our family will spend the rest of our lives without the most amazing man we have ever known, a new reality that is inconceivable to us. His grandchildren will never meet him. They will only know him through the stories we tell them," Levinson's family released in a statement Wednesday evening.
"If not for the cruel, heartless actions of the Iranian regime, Robert Levinson would be alive and home with us today. It has been 13 years waiting for answers. Thirteen years since we last saw him or had any contact with him. How those responsible in Iran could do this to a human being, while repeatedly lying to the world all this time, is incomprehensible to us. They kidnapped a foreign citizen and denied him any basic human rights, and his blood is on their hands," they continued. "Bob Levinson should have spent his last moments surrounded by his family and all the love we feel for him. Instead, he died alone, in captivity thousands of miles away, in unbelievable suffering. His body has not yet been returned to us for a proper burial. We don’t even know when, or even if, his body would be returned to us. This is the very definition of cruelty."
During a briefing at the White House Tuesday, President Trump said he does not accept that Levinson is dead, but said things were not "looking good."
"I don't accept that he's dead. I don't accept it. I won't accept it. They haven't told us that he's dead. But a lot of people are thinking that's the case," President Trump said. "It's not looking good. It's not looking promising."