American missing in Iran was probing possible money laundering, lawyer says

An American with links to theCentral Intelligence Agency was investigating suspicions thatIranian government officials were diverting petroleum funds andlaundering them through Canada when he went missing in Iran in2007, a lawyer for his family said on Friday.

Robert Levinson, a private detective and former FBI agent,was investigating allegations of corruption by well-connectedpeople in Iran, lawyer David McGee told Reuters.

McGee, who has been looking into Levinson's disappearancefor six years, said the missing American's inquiry involvedtrying to trace money laundered through Iranian exiles living inToronto. He did not provide further details of theinvestigation.

Reuters could not immediately verify McGee's assertions. It was not clear whether Levinson was working for the CIA or aprivate client at the time of his disappearance.

The Associated Press and The Washington Post reported onThursday that Levinson was not a private citizen on a businesstrip to Iran in 2007 as the US government often said but wasin fact working for a rogue CIA operation when he disappeared.

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