US must explain Levinson's mission: Iran diplomat
An Iranian diplomat has demanded the US to explain about the mission of an American national, who went missing in Iran in 2007, after media revealed he was a CIA spy.
In an e-mail to the Associated Press, head of the press office of Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York Alireza Miryousefi said, “The American authorities should explain about Levinson’s mission in Iranian soil. They are responsible and should respond.”
After withholding the story for three years, the AP revealed on December 12 that retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, who disappeared during a visit to Iran’s southern Kish Island in the Persian Gulf in March 2007, had actually been recruited by the US spy agency, CIA, to run unauthorized espionage operations.
According to the AP, the CIA paid USD 2.5 million to Levinson’s family in a bid to pre-empt a revealing lawsuit.
Miryousefi further stated that the Islamic Republic does not know the whereabouts of Levinson, stressing that Tehran has been trying “to find any clue about Levinson’s situation for humanitarian and security reasons, but no success.”
“We also provided all possible assistance to his family. Unfortunately this case is another America’s type scandal,” said the Iranian diplomat.
On Saturday, White House spokesman, Jay Carney, slammed the AP for revealing Levinson’s mission and called the New York-based wire service “highly irresponsible.”
The White House’s displeasure with the disclosure comes as the US State Department always insisted that Levinson was “a private citizen” who had traveled to Kish on “private business.”
Levinson’s whereabouts and captors are not known, but, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in 2011 that Washington believed he was “being held somewhere in southwest Asia.”