Robert Levinson, who became a private detective after retiring
from the FBI in 1998, disappeared during a trip to an Iranian island
in 2007. The White House says he was not a government employee at
The fate of Levinson is unclear and Zarif told CBS the Iranian
government has no idea about his whereabouts.
"What we know is that he is not incarcerated in Iran," Zarif said,
adding, "If he is, he's not incarcerated by the government and I
believe the government runs the, pretty much, good control of the
The Associated Press and the Washington Post on Thursday reported
that Levinson was not a private citizen on a business trip to Iran,
as the U.S. government has said, but was working for a rogue CIA
operation when he disappeared.
Levinson's lawyer, David McGee, told Reuters on Friday that Levinson
was investigating allegations of corruption by well-connected people
The FBI has offered a $1 million reward for information about
Levinson but his family believes the U.S. government has "not acted
to its full capacities" in trying to free him, McGee said.
[to top of second column]
Asked whether Iran would return Levinson to the United States, Zarif
said: "If we can trace him and find him, we will certainly discuss
this. ... Everything's possible but I'm saying that we have no
traces of him in Iran."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States has not
abandoned Levinson and that he personally has raised the issue,
according to an interview with ABC's "This Week" aired on Sunday.
"We're looking for proof of life," Kerry said, adding that he
thought the Iranian government could help find Levinson.
(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; editing by Bill Trott)
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