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 NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonThe five kinds of Republicans who could primary Trump Overnight Tech: Senate confirms two FCC commissioners | Dems want more time on net neutrality | Tech groups push White House on 'startup visa' Senate confirms two new FCC commissioners MORE (D-Fla.) and co-sponsored by Sens. Chris CoonsChris CoonsWill Congress preserve monopoly power for healthcare lobbyists? Savings through success in foreign assistance Sunday shows preview: Senators tout bill to protect Mueller MORE (D-Del.) and Marco RubioMarco RubioScarborough: Trump has chosen the 'wrong side' THE MEMO: Trump reignites race firestorm RNC spokeswoman: GOP stands behind Trump's message 'of love and inclusiveness' 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 CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerOPINION: Congress should censure Trump for his unfit conduct How to fix Fannie and Freddie to give Americans affordable housing No. 2 Senate Republican backs McConnell in Trump fight 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 CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinCongress should think twice on the Israel Anti-Boycott Act Don’t let Congress amend the First Amendment Federal anti-BDS legislation – Common sense and constitutional MORE (D-Md.).