U.S. Sanctions Iranian Intelligence Officers Over Abduction of Former FBI Agent

The Trump administration introduced sanctions Monday towards two Iranian intelligence officers, accusing them of immediate…

The Trump administration introduced sanctions Monday towards two Iranian intelligence officers, accusing them of immediate involvement in the “abduction, detention and probable death” of

Robert Levinson,

a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who went lacking in Iran in 2007.

The motion by the Treasury Department was the to start with general public transfer to formally hold Iran accountable for Mr. Levinson’s abduction, senior govt officials told reporters. U.S. officials claimed that senior Iranian officials sanctioned the abduction and sought to deal with up what experienced took place.

“The govt of Iran pledged to supply assistance in bringing Bob Levinson residence, but it has hardly ever followed by. The fact is that Iranian intelligence officers—with the acceptance of senior Iranian officials—were involved in Bob’s abduction and detention,” claimed FBI Director

Christopher Wray

in a statement.

He added: “While no a single ought to be as cruelly dealt with as Bob was, this predicament is personalized for the reason that Bob served as a distinctive agent for 22 several years and will constantly be a section of the FBI spouse and children. We will hardly ever waver from our commitment to uncover out more about Bob’s prolonged captivity, to give the Levinson spouse and children the answers they have earned, and to ultimately deliver Bob residence.”

The two officials designated—

Mohammad Baseri

and

Ahmad Khazai

—were explained as substantial-rating officers of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security.

Christine Levinson, right, spouse of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, and her son Daniel Levinson in 2007.



Image:

morteza nikoubazl/Reuters

Officers explained the sanctions as section of a stress campaign towards Iran. They also argued that any talks with Iran ought to include things like a resolution to Mr. Levinson’s circumstance and observed there are other People detained in Iran that they are trying to get to return residence.

A spokesman for Iran’s United Nations business claimed the govt experienced absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Levinson’s disappearance. “We have continuously taken care of that the Iranian govt has no data on Mr. Levinson’s whereabouts,” claimed the spokesman,

Alireza Miryousefi.

“The investigations Iran has pursued did not reveal any data past his leaving the hotel in Kish Island.”

Mr. Levinson went lacking on the Iranian island of Kish in 2007. Iran has prolonged denied any know-how of his whereabouts. His spouse and children claimed before this yr that they believed he experienced died in Iranian custody, citing data they experienced obtained from U.S. officials.

President Trump claimed at the time that he did not take that Mr. Levinson experienced died.

U.S. officials believe that Mr. Levinson disappeared even though conference with a U.S. fugitive who was wanted for the murder of an Iranian diplomat in the U.S., according to leaked Point out Department cables.

The Wall Road Journal and other information corporations previously have reported that Mr. Levinson was in Iran partly to collect data to supply to a group of analysts with the Central Intelligence Company.

Produce to Catherine Lucey at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Organization, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the December 15, 2020, print edition as ‘U.S. Sanctions Two Iranians in Disappearance of Ex-FBI Agent.’