Trump: Iran returning missing FBI agent is good, enriching uranium is bad

Iran’s Foreign Ministry denied that the case was re-opened and said that Levinson's whereabouts were still unknown.

US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House on Wednesday.  (photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House on Wednesday.
(photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)
"If Iran is able to turn over to the US kidnapped former FBI Agent Robert A. Levinson, who has been missing in Iran for 12 years, it would be a very positive step," US President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday following reports that Iran re-opened the investigation into Levinson's 2007 disappearance. "At the same time, upon information & belief, Iran is, & has been, enriching uranium. THAT WOULD BE A VERY BAD STEP."
Iran’s Foreign Ministry denied that the case was re-opened and said that Levinson's whereabouts were still unknown. Iranian officials have continuously denied knowing of his disappearance or location.
“Levinson has a judicial case in our country as he is missing ... This is based on humanitarian issues,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in remarks carried on state television, Reuters reported.
In 2007, Levinson went missing while on a trip to Kish Island in the Persian Gulf.
Senior US officials said in 2016, while Barack Obama was president, that they believed Levinson died in captivity. However, in January, a State Department spokesman said reports of his death were inaccurate and called on Iran to return him.
Levinson's family believes the Iranian government kidnapped him and is currently suing the Islamic Republic in U.S. federal court in Washington.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been heightened since the US pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal and Iran increased its nuclear activity.
Iran began pouring concrete for its second nuclear power plant on Sunday, according to Reuters.
“Nuclear power provides reliable electricity... and each power plant saves us 11 million barrels of oil or $660 million per year,” Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said in a televised ceremony.
In an attempt to make it more difficult for Iran to produce a nuclear weapon, the US is planning on allowing Russian, Chinese and European companies to continue their work at Iranian nuclear facilities, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in late October.
Reuters and Marcy Oster contributed to this report.