Statement from the Levinson Family

March 9, 2017


When is enough enough?  It has been 10 years since Robert Levinson, our amazing husband, father and grandfather, was arrested on Kish Island, Iran, and imprisoned.  For 10 years the government of Iran has been allowed to dodge and weave every time it was asked to come clean about what happened to Bob and send him home.  Where is the outrage of this treatment of an American citizen?  For 10 years, over and over and over again, two U.S. Presidents abandoned him, a lifelong public servant.  Even Bob’s government co-workers and their bosses – they know who they are – ran away when he disappeared, to their lasting shame.  Ten years is beyond enough.  How much more agony must he withstand?  It is time to get Bob Levinson home to his family.  And, to Bob, Dad and Grandpa Bob:  Stay strong!  We know you are alive and trying to come home to us.  We love you more than ever.  We miss you every hour of the day.  We will never, never, ever give up looking for you.


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The United Nations Declares Iran is Responsible for the Detention or Robert Levinson

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention states that Iran is responsible for the detention of our father, Robert Levinson.

Find the full text here.

Portions quoted below from the rendering of the decision regarding the case of Robert Levinson.

“Based on the totality of the information received, the Working Group is of the view that the source has provided prima facie credible allegations that could be summarized as follows: Mr. Levinson was arrested on 9 March 2007 and has been detained since then by the Iranian authorities. A witness provided his family with information regarding his arrest, which was later confirmed through additional proof that, among other things, he was alive. The family has conducted its own investigations and taken the appropriate and reasonable legal actions required in the Islamic Republic of Iran, albeit in vain, as the courts have not even addressed their motion.
The Working Group therefore considers it to be an established fact that Mr. Levinson was arrested without any legal ground, in violation of his rights as established in article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 9 of the Covenant, and has been detained since then. This violation is further aggravated by the time elapsed — almost 10 years — and the lack of due diligence by the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In the light of the foregoing, the Working Group renders the following opinion:
The deprivation of liberty of Robert Levinson, being in contravention of article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is arbitrary and falls within category I.
The Working Group requests the Government to take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of Mr. Levinson without any further delay and bring it in conformity with its international obligations as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Covenant.
Taking into account all the circumstances of the case, the Working Group considers that the adequate remedy would be to release Mr. Levinson immediately and accord to him an enforceable right to compensation in accordance with article 9 (5) of the Covenant.”



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Trump Under Pressure to Get Answers From Iran on Missing Ex-F.B.I. Agent

Link to NY Times Article

MARCH 5, 2017

WASHINGTON — Last year, when the United States and Iran exchanged prisoners, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the Tehran government had also pledged to help in the search for a long-missing American who had disappeared in Iran in March 2007.

To bolster that promise, Iranian officials secretly informed the Obama administration that they had received intelligence that the remains of an American had been buried in Balochistan, a rugged, lawless region in western Pakistan that borders Afghanistan and Iran. The remains, it was assumed, were that of the missing man, Robert A. Levinson, a private investigator and former agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation who was also a part-time consultant for the Central Intelligence Agency.

But when the Pakistani authorities went to the supposed burial site, they did not find any remains. American officials concluded that the report, rather than a gesture of good will, was a gambit by Iran to further cloud its role in Mr. Levinson’s fate.

Today, a decade after Mr. Levinson vanished, the Trump administration faces a decision about what steps to take, if any, to bring a resolution of his case. As a candidate, President Trump vowed in 2015 to bring Mr. Levinson home, and the Levinson family has asked to meet with him in hopes he will take a more aggressive stance toward getting answers than President Barack Obama did.

While some American officials fear that Mr. Levinson died in captivity, his family remains convinced that he is alive and that officials in Iran know where he is.

“Iran knows exactly what is going on with Bob, and they need to tell the U.S.,” his wife, Christine Levinson, said in an interview last month.

A spokeswoman for the National Security Council, Jennifer Arangio, said in a statement that administration officials had contacted Mr. Levinson’s relatives to assure them that his case was a priority.

“The U.S. government will never cease its efforts to bring back our citizens who are unlawfully detained or missing overseas,” the statement said.

Mr. Levinson traveled to an Iranian island on a rogue mission to recruit an intelligence source for the C.I.A. on March 7, 2007. He has been seen since then only in a hostage videotape made in 2010 and a series of photographs. Mr. Levinson was 59 when he disappeared and had health problems.

For the past decade, Iranian leaders have repeatedly denied knowing anything about Mr. Levinson. But American intelligence and law enforcement authorities have long been convinced that elements of Iran’s political, religious or intelligence hierarchy such as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps were involved in his detention and, possibly, his death.

While the 2010 videotape showing Mr. Levinson as a prisoner gave no hint about who was holding him, F.B.I. investigators concluded that the video was so artfully staged that it was probably made by a state-sponsored intelligence group such as a unit of the Revolutionary Guards Corps. 

That videotape was also routed through Pakistan. Investigators believe the information about the burial of an American there was part of a continuing Iranian intelligence narrative meant to distance that country from Mr. Levinson’s case, according to American officials.

Mr. Levinson’s fate may have become entangled with that of a top Iranian spy who reportedly defected to the West in late 2006, not long before Mr. Levinson vanished.

On two occasions last year, Iranian diplomats, when pressed by their American counterparts about Mr. Levinson, asked for information about the Iranian operative, Ali Reza Asgari, former American officials familiar with those talks said. Iran has long been seeking to locate Mr. Asgari, who reportedly took secrets about Iran’s nuclear program to the West with him.

A former top officer in the Revolutionary Guards, Mr. Asgari went missing while on a trip to Istanbul. There was speculation at the time of Mr. Levinson’s disappearance that he was seized in revenge for Mr. Asgari, but intelligence officials have played down that link. Nonetheless, Iran officials have long been hunting Mr. Asgari and for years have mentioned his name in connection with Mr. Levinson.

Mr. Kerry, in a meeting in September with Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, brought up Mr. Levinson, saying that the United States wanted a “resolution” of the missing American’s case, even if the information showed that Mr. Levinson had died.

Those talks, which were unsuccessful, also involved efforts to resolve the cases of two Iranian-Americans: Siamak Namazi, a businessman in his 40s, and his father, Baquer Namazi. They are in an Iranian prison after their sentencing last fall on charges of spying and cooperating with the United States government. American officials have said the charges are false.

In December, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an opinion, based on information supplied by Mr. Levinson’s family, that Iran had illegally arrested and detained the investigator. The Iranian government, which was provided with a copy of the United Nations group’s finding, did not respond.

During his final years in office, Mr. Obama repeatedly said that bringing Mr. Levinson home was a priority. But his administration never publicly confronted Iran over its denials about Mr. Levinson or made public evidence gathered by the F.B.I. during its decade-long investigation of his case.

The Obama administration’s former special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, James O’Brien, said he could not discuss specifics related to talks with Iran about the missing investigator. But he insisted that American officials had “raised his case at every opportunity with the Iranians and tried everything we could think of to bring him home.”

One of Mr. Levinson’s daughters, Sarah Moriarty, said that she was hopeful that Mr. Trump would make her father’s case a priority in all talks with Iran, which she said the Obama administration did not do.

 “They didn’t get him home,” Mrs. Moriarty said. “They failed.”
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An Open Letter to the Supreme Leader of Iran from Christine Levinson and the Levinson Family

Your Eminence,

We are the family of Robert Levinson, the husband, father and grandfather who was detained on Kish Island more than nine years ago, on March 9, 2007, and who has been missing and unable to see or even speak with us since that day.

It is impossible to convey the depth of the darkness and the tremendous loss our family has experienced without our father, the head of our family.  Our father means everything to us.  He is a man of deep faith who goes out of his way to help others.  He is a loving father of seven children and four grandchildren.  He brings light to our world.  Yet he is being held against his will, with no contact with his family or anyone he knows for more than nine years.  We are not aware of any charges that have been brought against him that would explain his being kept prisoner.  We have had no contact with anyone claiming to be holding him.

We write with a simple humanitarian request involving an individual life, to you who are a father, that you help us find our father, Bob Levinson, so he may return to us and live the rest of his life in peace.  His health is fragile, as he suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure. Our sole desire for whatever time he has left on Earth is that he be surrounded by those who love him.

We see in your writings and speeches, especially to families and young people, that you regularly call for compassion, truth and justice.  It is in this spirit that we reach out to you as we are still awaiting answers as to what happened to him.  Your Excellency, you undoubtedly agree with us that not having any information about our father’s destiny while we are still awaiting with hope to find him, and never having had the opportunity in nine years to communicate with him, and his inability to hear the voice of his wife, our mother, and above all, being held as a prisoner without the benefit of any legal advocacy, all fall short of humanity, justice, Islamic compassion and the lessons you teach.

We believe that you granting our request is within your power Supreme Leader and Guardian Jurist. All we are asking for is justice regarding our father’s destiny. We implore you to bring justice, Islamic compassion and truth to our father and our family.

With our deepest respect and gratitude,

Christine Levinson

On behalf of the Levinson Family:
Daniel, David, Douglas, Samantha, and Sophia Levinson Ralph, Susan, and Bobby Boothe
Randy, Stephanie, Ryan and Grace Curry
Ryan, Sarah, and Sean Moriarty


نامه یِ سرگشاده به حضرت آیت الله سید علی خامنه ای
رهبر جمهوری اسلامی ایران

مقام معظم رهبری،

با سلام و احترام خدمت حضرتعالی، ما خانواده یِ رابرت لوینسون هستیم. شوهر، پدر و پدر بزرگی که بیش از نه سال پیش در تاریخ 9 مارس 2007 در جزیره کیش بازداشت و مفقود شده است و از آن روز، قادر به صحبت و دیداربا ما نبوده است.

بیان عمقِ تاریکی و فقدانِ عظیمی که خانواده ما در نبود پدر و سرپرست خانواده تجربه کرده ایم، امری غیر ممکن است. پدر ما یعنی همه چیز و همه کس ما. مردی با ایمانی قوی که همواره برای کمک به دیگران تلاش می کند. پدرِ دوست داشتنیِ هفت فرزند و چهار نوه که به دنیایِ ما نور به ارمغان می آورد. اما هم اکنون برخلاف اراده اش زندانی و قادر به تماس با خانواده و یا هیچ یک از عزیزانش نیست. ما اطلاعی از هیچگونه اتهامی که زندانی بودن او را توجیه کنُد، نداریم و افرادی که او را زندانی کرده اند هیچ تماسی با ما نگرفته اند.

ما برای تسلیم یک درخواستِ ساده و انسان دوستانه در مورد زندگیِ یک انسان به حضرتعالی که خود یک پدر هستید نامه نوشته ایم، که جنابعالی در پیدا کردن پدر ما، رابرت لوینسون، به کمک خانوادهٔ ما بیایید. بلکه او به ما بازگردد و بقیه عمر خود را در آرامش بسر ببرد. او مبتلا به بیماری دیابت و فشار خون بالا است و سلامتیش در خطر می‌باشد. آرزویِ ما برای مابقیِ عمر او بودن در کنار عزیزانش است.

ما شاهدیم که شما مرتباً در سخرانی ها و نوشته‌های خود، مخصوصا به خانوادها و جوانان، آنها را به محبت، حقیقت و عدالت دعوت می‌فرمایید. درخواست ما در همین راستا است: حتماً حضرتعالی موافق هستید که نداشتن هیچگونه اطلاعاتی در مورد سرنوشت پدرمان در حالی که ما امیدوارانه در انتظار یافتن او هستیم و نداشتن امکان صحبت با پدر خود برای نه سال و اینکه او حتی قادر به شنیدن صدای همسرش (مادر ما) نبوده است و نیز عدم دسترسی او به عنوان یک زندانی به مشاوره حقوقی همگی بدور از انسانیت، عدالت، شفقت اسلامی و آموزه های حضرتعالی است.

ما باورداریم که برآوردن این درخواستِ انسان دوستانه تنها در حیطه قدرت حضرتعالی به عنوان مقام معظم رهبری و ولی فقیه است. تنها درخواست ما اجرای عدالت درباره سرنوشت پدر ما است. ما از آن مقام محترم تمنی داریم، عدالت، شفقت اسلامی و حقیقت را برای پدرو خانواده ما به ارمغان بیاورید.

با تقدیم احترام،

کریستین، دانیل، دیوید، سوفیا و سامانتا لوینسون؛ رالف، سوزان و بابی بوث، رندی، استفانی، رایان و گریس کاری، و رایان، سارا و شان موریارتی


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Statement from Christine Levinson on the 9th Anniversary of the Kidnapping of Robert Levinson

Statement from Christine Levinson, Bob’s wife, on the 9th anniversary of Bob being taken in Iran:


A few days ago, hundreds of people from around the country came together with our family in Florida to demand “Where is Bob Levinson?”  and ask how it is possible that, 9 years after being taken hostage in Iran, this wonderful man is still not home.  My children and I ask those same questions every day.


These past 9 years – 3, 288 days – have been harder for our family than anyone could ever imagine.  But, as difficult as it has been for us, we know that Bob is living a nightmare that is 100 times worse.  We need the United States government and the country of Iran to work together to resolve what happened to Bob and return him safely to his family.



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Representative Ted Deutch Speaking to the House of Representatives for Bob Levinson’s Resolution

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S. RES. 99


1st Session

S. RES. 99

Calling on the Government of Iran to follow through on repeated promises of assistance in the case of Robert Levinson, the longest held United States civilian in our Nation’s history.



Mr. NELSON (for himself and Mr. RUBIO) submitted the following resolution:




Calling on the Government of Iran to follow through on repeated promises of assistance in the case of Robert Levinson, the longest held United States civilian in our Nation’s history.


Whereas United States citizen Robert Levinson is a retired agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a resident of Coral Springs, Florida, the husband of Christine Levinson, and father of their seven children;


Whereas Robert Levinson traveled from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Kish Island, Iran, on March 8, 2007;


Whereas, after traveling to Kish Island and checking into the Hotel Maryam, Robert Levinson disappeared on March 9, 2007;


Whereas, in December 2007, Robert Levinson’s wife, Christine, traveled to Kish Island to retrace Mr. Levinson’s steps and met with officials of the Government of Iran who pledged to help in the investigation;


Whereas, for more than eight years, the United States Government has continually pressed the Government of Iran to provide any information on the whereabouts of Robert Levinson and to help ensure his prompt and safe return to his family;


Whereas officials of the Government of Iran promised their continued assistance to the relatives of Robert Levinson during the visit of the family to the Islamic Republic of Iran in December 2007;


Whereas, in November 2010, the Levinson family received a video of Mr. Levinson in captivity, representing the first proof of life since his disappearance and providing some initial indications that he was being held somewhere in southwest Asia;


Whereas, in April 2011, the Levinson family received a series of pictures of Mr. Levinson, which provided further indications that he was being held somewhere in southwest Asia;


Whereas Secretary of State John Kerry stated on August 28, 2013, “The United States respectfully asks the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to work cooperatively with us in our efforts to help U.S. citizen Robert Levinson.”;


Whereas, on September 28, 2013, during the first direct phone conversation between the heads of government of the United States and Iran since 1979, President Barack Obama raised the case of Robert Levinson to President of Iran Hassan Rouhani and urged the President of Iran to help locate Mr. Levinson and reunite him with his family;


Whereas, on August 29, 2014, Secretary of State Kerry again stated that the United States “respectfully request the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran work cooperatively with us to find Mr. Levinson and bring him home”;


Whereas, on July 14, 2015, the Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, Germany, and Iran agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action;


Whereas, on January 16, 2016, the Government of Iran released five Americans detained in Iran, Jason Rezaian of California, Saeed Abedini of Idaho, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati of Michigan, Matthew Trevithick of Massachusetts, and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari;


Whereas, on January 17, 2016, President Obama stated `even as we rejoice in the safe return of others, we will never forget about Bob,’ referring to Robert Levinson, and that `each and every day but especially today our hearts are with the Levinson family and we will never rest until their family is whole again.’;


Whereas, on January 19, 2016, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated that the United States Government had `secured a commitment from the Iranians to use the channel that has now been opened to secure the release of those individuals that we know were being held by Iran…to try and gather information about Mr. Levinson’s possible whereabouts’;


Whereas, on November 26, 2013, became the longest held United States civilian in our Nation’s history; and


Whereas the Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced a $5,000,000 reward for information leading to Mr. Levinson’s safe return: Now, therefore, be it


Resolved, That the Senate—


(1) recognizes that Robert Levinson is the longest held United States civilian in our Nation’s history;


(2) notes the repeated pledges by and renewed commitment of officials of the Government of Iran to provide their Government’s assistance in the case of Robert Levinson;


(3) urges the Government of Iran, as a humanitarian gesture, to act on its promises to assist in the case of Robert Levinson and to immediately provide all available information from all entities of the Government of Iran regarding the disappearance of Robert Levinson to the United States Government;


(4) urges the President and the allies of the United States to continue to raise with officials of the Government of Iran the case of Robert Levinson at every opportunity, notwithstanding ongoing and serious disagreements the United States Government has with the Government of Iran on a broad array of issues, including Iran’s ballistic missile program, sponsorship of international terrorism, and human rights abuses; and


(5) expresses sympathy to the family of Robert Levinson for their anguish and expresses hope that their ordeal can be brought to an end in the near future.


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Contact Information for the Levinson Family

If you have any tips, leads, or information regarding Robert (Bob) Levinson, please contact our family at

Thank you for all of your support.

The Levinson Family

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Excerpt from President Obama’s speech today

“Meanwhile Iran has agreed to deepen our coordination as we work to locate Robert Levinson, missing from Iran for more than 8 years. Even as we rejoice in the safe return for others we will never forget about Bob. Each and every day and especially today our hearts are with the Levinson family. We will not rest until their family is whole again.”

We truly hope that he keeps his word. Our family needs to be whole again.

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Statement from the Levinson Family

We are happy for the other families. But once again, Bob Levinson has been left behind. We are devastated.


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