Jewish-American Robert Levinson not included in prisoners released from Iran

According to sources, as part of the exchange deal Iran “committed to continue cooperating with the United States to determine the whereabouts of Robert Levinson.”

By JTA
January 17, 2016 03:30
1 minute read.
Robert Levinson

Kidnapped American Robert Levinson . (photo credit: helpboblevinson.com)

 
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WASHINGTON — Jewish-American Robert Levinson was not included in a prisoner exchange with Iran that came as the UN nuclear watchdog confirmed Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal and the West rolled back sanctions.

Iran on Saturday released five Americans it was holding in its prisons or in detention, four of them as part of a prison swap which included the release of Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post journalist detained on espionage charges since 2014.

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The exchange comes on “implementation day” of the sanctions relief for nuclear restrictions deal Iran concluded last year with the United States and five other major powers.

The United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, on Saturday confirmed that Iran has complied with the nuclear rollback component of the deal, which will trigger immediate sanctions relief.

President Obama and the European Union immediately ordered the suspension of a range of sanctions that had been imposed on Iran because of its suspected nuclear weapons program.

As part of the deal, Interpol removed 14 Iranians from its wanted list. A number of news agencies initially speculated that some of those named were suspected of involvement in the deadly deadly bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center, but this proved untrue and the reports were retracted. “Speculation that any of the 14 fugitives was at all connected to the bombing in Argentina is patently baseless and untrue,” a US official told JTA. “The fugitives faced sanctions or export control violations.”

Levinson, 68, of Coral Springs, Fla., has been missing for close to nine years. CNN quoted Levinson’s family as expressing happiness for the other families, but saying it was “devastated” that he was not among those released.



His family has acknowledged in recent years that Levinson, a father of seven, had been working for the CIA in a rogue operation at the time of his disappearance from Iran’s Kish Island.

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.

Iran denies official involvement in his disappearance and the Washington Post quoted an anonymous US official as saying that as part of the exchange deal, Iran “committed to continue cooperating with the United States to determine the whereabouts of Robert Levinson.”

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