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Robert Levinson

Country: Iran

Country of Origin: United States

Disappeared Since: March 9, 2007

Biography: Robert Levinson is a Jewish U.S. citizen. On March 9, 2007, Levinson, a retired FBI agent, disappeared on the Iranian island of Kish. It is likely that the government of Iran disappeared him, though Iran’s government denies knowledge of his whereabouts. In 2013, President Hassan Rouhani indicated a willingness to cooperate with the U.S. government to return Levinson to the United States. Then Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both urged the government of Iran to release Levinson, as has Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo. On November 26, 2013, Levinson became the longest-held hostage in U.S. history. 

In a March 2020 public statement, Mr. Levinson's family stated: "We recently received information from U.S. officials that has led both them and us to conclude that our wonderful husband and father died while in Iranian custody."

USCIRF Advocate: Johnnie Moore  


Press Releases:

USCIRF Saddened Over Presumed Death of Robert Levinson, Calls on Iran to Repatriate Him and Free Religious Prisoners of Conscience (March 26, 2020)
USCIRF Advocacy for Robert Levinson Spurs New Development in Iran (November 12, 2019) 
USCIRF Commissioner Andy Khawaja Adopts Religious Prisoner of Conscience Robert Levinson (March 11, 2019)

Related Reports and Briefs

2019 Annual Report Chapter on Iran