Iranian News Announces Release of American Robert Levinson
Bazteb News is carrying a report tonight from “usually reliable sources” that American Robert Levinson was turned over to American officials in Iraq:
Usually reliable Iranian sources(?) say that detained American, Robert Levinson, was turned over to American officials in the last 24-hours.
I have again been told to be quiet and that he is definitely in the hands of his countrymen – perhaps in Iraq. This would have been a simple border exchange. I think he will be kept out of site until the summit next week. He will be kept under wraps until the US can figure out a way to reintroduce him. People here expect no credit to Iran for the release before the Sharm el-Sheikh summit. But I am satisfied he is out of this country.”
This information has not been confirmed by U.S. officials. “At this point we are aware of unconfirmed accounts in the media that he departed Iran,” according to State Department spokesman Karl Duckworth. “We are continuing to work with the Swiss to get information on his welfare and whereabouts,” Duckworth said.
FBI spokesman John Miller, when asked to comment on reports of Levinson’s release, told ABC News, “We are hearing the same thing, but we have no way to judge the credibility of that information.”
A high level intelligence source in the United States military in Iraq said “it is possible that Levinson has been turned over to Kurds in Iraq with an agreement that no public announcement be made until after a conference between the Iranian Foreign Minister and Secretary Rice next week in Egypt.”
“This raises the possibility that the United States military may turnover up to five Iranian diplomats who we have been holding for months as a goodwill gesture as a response to Levinson’s release,” the US intelligence source said.
Earlier in April there were reports that Levinson had gone to Iran to meet with Dawud Salahuddin, an American who fled to Iran after killing an Iranian opposition leader in 1980:
Mr Levinson disappeared on March 8 after a six-hour meeting on the Iranian island of Kish with Dawud Salahuddin, an American who converted to Islam and was recruited by revolutionaries to assassinate an Iranian opposition activist near Washington in 1980.
Mr Salahuddin, who fled to Iran after the 1980 murder and has at times expressed interest in returning to the US to face justice, told the FT in Tehran that he, too, feared Mr Levinson was an “innocent victim” of the clash between what he calls Iran’s paranoia about the US and Washington’s misguided foreign policy.
Mr Salahuddin said they registered a room in the Maryam hotel before he, too, was detained that night but released the next day after his Iranian passport was checked. Mr Levinson has not been heard from since. Iran’s foreign ministry says it does not know where he is. The US believes he is in detention.
Iran Press TV has more on his release:
A former FBI agent the US government claimed had gone missing in the Iranian island of Kish has returned to his country amid news black out.
The US National Security Agency had said that Former FBI Agent, Robert Levinson, had been arrested following a meeting with a former US citizen on the Iranian Island of Kish on March 8, and was detained by Iranians until Sunday.
See-Dubya at HotAir reported this rumor back on Tuesday about Levinson’s release.
FBI Agent Goes Missing in Iran