While Donald Trump's at U.N., lawmakers want him to push Iran to release Bob Levinson
Sep 25, 2018 \\ Anthony Man, Sun Sentinel
While he’s at the United Nations, President Donald Trump should publicly push Iran to release Bob Levinson, Florida lawmakers said Tuesday.
Levinson, of Coral Springs, went missing on March 9, 2007.
The former agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI was working for the CIA. Iranian authorities are believed to have detained Levinson at his hotel at an Iranian island while he was trying to cultivate an informant for the CIA. Iran has denied involvement.
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, a Democrat whose district includes Coral Springs, and U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., have pushed for years to get information and action on Levinson, who is the longest-held American civilian hostage in history.
On Tuesday, they wrote to Trump urging him to publicly press Iran for Levinson’s return.
They timed their request to the United Nations General Assembly, which Trump is attending this week, and plans for a special session of the U.N. Security Council, which Trump will chair on Wednesday.
Text of the Deutch-Nelson-Rubio letter:
“We were pleased to see that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley planned to convene a special session of the United Nations Security Council on September 26th, 2018, to discuss Iran’s continued malign activities.
“While your Administration has reportedly changed the focus of the special session, we are hopeful that you, as Chair of the session, will still take this opportunity to publicly press Iran to return our constituent, Robert Levinson, the longest-held civilian in our Nation’s history.
“Since Bob went missing from Iran’s Kish Island on March 9, 2007, the Iranian regime has repeatedly promised to assist in locating and returning Bob. Yet those promises remain unfulfilled, and the United Nations’ own Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found Iran responsible for holding Bob. We must not miss an opportunity to press Iran to return Bob.
“Therefore, we request that you use the full weight of the United States as President of the Security Council to press the international community for action in ending Iran’s shameful practice of detaining Americans. We are concerned that, without concerted American leadership, Bob and others will not remain a priority.
“Mr. President, in 2015, you vowed to bring Bob home. For now more than a decade, the Levinson Family has watched as Bob was forgotten time and again. The United States simply must do more to see that Bob is finally brought home.“We look forward to your Administration’s swift action.”