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 NelsonFederal agency under fire for selling recalled cars Senators offer renewed hope of ending hotel booking scams Yahoo hack spurs push for legislation MORE (D-Fla.) and co-sponsored by Sens. Chris CoonsChris CoonsDem blasts Trump on 'jail' line: 'That's what dictators do' Election-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Overnight Healthcare: McConnell unveils new Zika package | Manchin defends daughter on EpiPens | Bill includes M for opioid crisis MORE (D-Del.) and Marco RubioMarco RubioFive takeaways from Florida Senate debate The Trail 2016: Comeback in the works? US abstains from UN resolution on Cuba embargo for first time MORE (R-Fla.), a presidential candidate, unanimously by voice vote.

"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 CorkerGlobal climate pact may bump into Senate roadblock GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Trump appoints fundraiser to national security advisory council 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 CardinSanders, Dem senators press Obama to halt ND pipeline Dems to McConnell: Pass 'clean' extension of Iran sanctions Top Foreign Relations Dem: US needs to 'revisit' approach to Russia MORE (D-Md.).