SCHUMER OP-ED ON IRAN PRISONER, BOB LEVINSON
Don’t Forget About Bob
At the United Nations General Assembly this week, United States’ diplomats have an opportunity to press Iran again to aid in the search for and return of Bob Levinson, the longest held American civilian in our nation’s history. He was detained in Iran over nine and a half years ago, and every day since has been an agonizing struggle for Bob’s family.
Bob is a former FBI agent who served his country for [thirty years]. He’s a husband, father of seven, and now a grandfather of six, who should be reunited with his family immediately.
Since his detention, American officials have sought Iran’s cooperation in locating and returning Bob, but the Iranian government has yet to provide any meaningful information. Over the years, despite repeated promises to help in Bob’s case, the Iranian Government has accepted less and less responsibility for his return.
In 2007, days after his capture, Iranian state-run media spoke of Mr. Levinson’s arrest and reported that he would be shortly released. But seven years later, in 2014, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif told CNN that “there was no evidence to prove that [Levinson] was ever in Iran…” Whether or not the current Iranian regime is responsible for his detention, it’s in the best position to help find him and should be compelled to follow through on its many promises to do so.
As Bob and his family’s representatives in Congress, we urge our representatives at the UN General Assembly to press Iran to finally cooperate in locating one of our citizens, who has been held against his will for nearly a decade.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Bill Nelson, Rep. Ted Deutch
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