US looking for information on former FBI agent missing in Iran
The U.S. is seeking information from Iran about a former FBI agent who was reported missing while on a business trip there several weeks ago.
FBI spokesman Rich Kolko said Monday the agent had retired nearly a decade ago and appeared to be in Iran on private business. According to the AP, he said the missing man was last seen there in early March and was not working for the FBI as a contractor.
"At this time, there are no indications that this matter should be viewed other than as a missing person case," Kolko said. According to Kolko, the former agent had worked on traditional criminal issues such as organized crime cases - drawing a distinction between those and international terrorism or intelligence work that could have taken him to Iran.
On his part, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack declined to give details about the name, age or occupation of the missing man. Kolko also declined to identify him. But the Tuesday edition of The Miami Herald, citing sources familiar with the case, identified him as Robert A. Levinson, 59.
McCormack said the United States saw no connection between the missing man and the current crisis between Iran and Britain over 15 British sailors and marines seized last month by Iranian forces.
The department has sent a letter to Tehran via diplomatic intermediaries, asking if authorities there have any information about the man, McCormack conveyed. "It's an American private citizen who is in Iran on private business about whom we are pursuing welfare and whereabouts (information)," McCormack told reporters. "We have been monitoring this situation for a couple of weeks now."
The man was last heard from around March 11 while in a coastal area of southern Iran or near Kish Island, where he was apparently working on a project for an independent filmmaker.