Iran Denies Holding Missing American

December 16, 2013
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says an American who disappeared in Iran six years ago is not being held by the Iranian government.

Referring to Robert Levinson, who disappeared during a visit to Iran's southern Kish Island in 2007, Zarif said: "We know that he is not incarcerated in Iran. If he is, he is not incarcerated by the government."

Zarif said that if Tehran discovered any information about Levinson's whereabouts, it would then discuss his return.

Last week, the Associated Press and "The Washington Post" reported that Levinson, a retired FBI agent, had been sent to Iran at the direction of Central Intelligence Agency analysts who had no authority to run operations overseas.

The White House responded by saying that Levinson "was not a U.S. government employee when he went missing."

Based on reporting by and AP