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Charges Over Ex-FBI Agent’s Abduction Denied
National

Charges Over Ex-FBI Agent’s Abduction Denied

Lawmakers dismissed as groundless the US allegations that former FBI agent, Robert Levinson, was abducted on Iranian soil, saying it has happened outside Iran's territory.
Levinson's disappearance in 2007 became public knowledge in April of the same year and the US asked Iran for information. His family flew to Tehran and Kish Island, where US officials initially claimed the kidnapping took place, and spoke to Iranian authorities.
Lawmaker Hossein Naqavi Hosseini told ICANA on Friday that the Islamic Republic has done everything in its power to help shed light on Levinson's fate.
"Iran has spared no humanitarian assistance in its cooperation with international bodies to clarify Levinson's dossier," he said.
"Levinson's case is now completely clear. American officials have repeatedly announced that this spy has been kidnapped before setting foot on Iranian soil."  
In 2011, media reports said Levinson's family had received proof of him being alive, including photographs and a video of Levinson.
Then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement the US had evidence he was being held "somewhere in southwest Asia".
Lawmaker Masoud Goudarzi echoed Hosseini's argument and called on US officials to back up their allegations with evidence.
"Levinson did not enter Iran, so the Americans cannot pin the blame for his disappearance on the Islamic Republic. The accusations made by the American authorities and the complaint of Levinson's family accusing Iran of involvement in the US agent's abduction are baseless and there is no proof to substantiate the Americans' comments in this relation," he said. Ebrahim Rezaei, another member of parliament, described the US claims as part of a western plot to promote Iranophobia and rob Iran of its rightful benefits from the 2015 nuclear accord with major powers.
Rezaei added that US statesmen are struggling to turn the momentum in their own favor and deprive Iran of the nuclear deal's political and economic benefits by escalating their Iranophobia campaign.
The administration of US President Donald Trump pledged in March, two months after assuming office, to find Levinson and reunite him with his family.
"The Trump administration remains unwavering in our commitment to locate Mr. Levinson and bring him home. We want him back, and we will spare no effort to achieve that goal," according to a White House statement, which noted a $5 million reward for information on Levinson's whereabouts.

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