Senate panel pressures Iran to return missing American

Senate panel pressures Iran to return missing American
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The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday passed a bipartisan resolution calling on Iran to return Robert Levinson, the longest-held American citizen in U.S. history. 

The committee passed the resolution, introduced by Sen. Bill NelsonBill NelsonWeek ahead in tech: Lawmakers turn focus to self-driving cars Senate panel unveils aviation bill with consumer protections, drone fix Driverless cars speed onto political agenda MORE (D-Fla.) and co-sponsored by Sens. Chris CoonsChris CoonsFuneral for the filibuster: GOP will likely lay Senate tool to rest Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief Overnight Tech: Uber CEO resigns | Trump's Iowa tech trip | Dems push Sessions to block AT&T-Time Warner deal | Lawmakers warned on threat to election systems | MORE (D-Del.) and Marco RubioMarco RubioCapitol Police arrest 40 during healthcare protests New Alexandra Pelosi documentary brings together GOP, Dem members Senators urge Trump to do right thing with arms sales to Taiwan MORE (R-Fla.), a presidential candidate, unanimously by voice vote.

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"We need to press [Iran] to keep their commitments," Coons said.  

After the administration obtained the release of five Americans detained by Iran, it has come under increasing pressure to obtain the release of Levinson, a former FBI agent who disappeared from an Iranian island almost nine years ago. 

Administration officials say they believe Levinson is no longer in Iran but have given no further details. 

Levinson's family, who were present at the hearing, said they met with White House, State Department and FBI officials this week. 

"We met with the officials and, of course, we are hopeful — they have promised to continue to press for Bob's release and find him, and bring him home to us. And we're hoping that happens. We'll see what the next couple of weeks bring," Levinson's wife Christine told The Hill. 

"It needs to stay on the agenda," Levinson's son Dan told The Hill. "We're very encouraged it will continue to be an issue and continue to remain in the public eye." 

After the prisoner release last month, Levinson's family spoke out in the media about a lack of communication from the government and not knowing ahead of time about the prisoner release.

Committee Chairman Bob CorkerBob CorkerTop GOP lawmaker questions tax break for wealthy in healthcare plan Tougher Russia sanctions bill facing another setback Lawmakers wary of Trump escalation in Syria MORE (R-Tenn.) expressed condolences to the family. 

"We are sorry you've gone through this harrowing experience," he said, calling Levinson a "patriot."

"All of us know that, and we need to do everything we can to get him back."  

"We'll use every avenue available to us to get a full accounting and release, I can assure you of that," added the committee's ranking member, Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinDem: Trump doesn’t have authorization for military action in Syria Lawmakers wary of Trump escalation in Syria Senators urge Trump to do right thing with arms sales to Taiwan MORE (D-Md.).