Kerry asks for Iran's help with missing American

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday marked the seventh anniversary of the disappearance of Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent who's widely believed to be in the hands of Iran’s intelligence services.

“We respectfully ask the Government of Iran to work cooperatively with us on the investigation into his disappearance so we can ensure his safe return,” Kerry said in a statement.


Levinson, one of the longest-held American citizens in history, disappeared from Kish Island, Iran, during a business trip.

“Nothing can bring those lost years – more than 2,500 days in all – back to all those who love him," Kerry said. "Mr. Levinson’s disappearance has been heart-wrenching for his wife and children, who feel his absence especially deeply at the many family milestones missed these past seven years.”

Kerry said the United States remains committed to Levinson’s safe return to his family, adding that there is a “special sense of urgency” on this anniversary, given Levinson’s health, age and time in captivity.

Kerry said that anyone with information on the case should contact the FBI, which is offering a $1 million reward for information that could lead to Levinson’s safe return.

Last November, the White House pleaded for Levinson’s return.

“As we approach the upcoming holiday season, we reiterate the commitment of the United States government to locate Mr. Levinson and bring him home safely to his family, friends, and loved ones,” the White House Office of the Press Secretary said in a statement. “We welcome the assistance of our international partners in this investigation, and we respectfully ask the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to assist us in securing Mr. Levinson’s health, welfare, and safe return.”

That statement was released amid mounting criticism that the Obama administration's interim deal with Iran only focused on the nuclear file.