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 NelsonHow will Biden's Afghanistan debacle impact NASA's Artemis return to the moon? Biden to talk Russia, anti-corruption with Ukraine's president Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos wages lawfare on NASA and SpaceX MORE (D-Fla.) and co-sponsored by Sens. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsBiden threatens more sanctions on Ethiopia, Eritrea over Tigray conflict Senate Democrats to Garland: 'It's time to end the federal death penalty' Hillicon Valley: Cryptocurrency amendment blocked in Senate | Dems press Facebook over suspension of researchers' accounts | Thousands push back against Apple plan to scan US iPhones for child sexual abuse images MORE (D-Del.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioMilley says calls to China were 'perfectly within the duties' of his job Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right 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 CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  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 CardinOvernight Defense & National Security: War ends, but finger pointing continues Harris presides over Senate passage of bill assisting Americans fleeing Afghanistan Senate panel votes to repeal Iraq war authorizations MORE (D-Md.).