Kerry calls for return of Robert Levinson, missing in Iran for 8 years


(JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry marked the eighth year since the disappearance in Iran of Jewish-American Robert Levinson with a plea for his safe return.

Kerry in a statement issued Monday called on the government of Iran to “work cooperatively with us on the investigation into his disappearance so we can ensure his safe return.”

Levinson, 67, of Coral Springs, Fla., disappeared from Kish Island. The statement said Levinson is one of the longest-held American citizens in history and that he has “spent more than 2,900 days separated from those who love him.”

His family acknowledged in the last couple of years that Levinson, a father of seven, had been working for the CIA in a rogue operation at the time of his disappearance. Levinson is a private detective and former FBI agent. For years it had been reported that he was working as a private investigator when he disappeared.

“We remain committed to the safe return of Mr. Levinson to his family and appreciate the support and assistance from our international partners,” Kerry said in the statement. “We remain concerned about Mr. Levinson’s health given his age and the length of his disappearance.”

The FBI announced that it has increased its reward for information that could lead to Levinson’s safe return to up to $5 million from $1 million.

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