The wife of a former FBI agent who went missing in Iran a month ago has asked that country's government for help in locating her husband as new information about his whereabouts and trip has become known.
"I'm seeking guidance and direction from the Iranian authorities in finding my husband," Christine Levinson said in a statement released Monday.
Her husband, Robert, a 22-year veteran of the FBI, disappeared in March after visiting the Iranian island of Kish, where he was reportedly traveling on behalf of an American documentary producer.
The National Security News Service, quoting Iranian officials "at the highest levels," reported Sunday that Levinson was being held in Tehran and was in good health. The service also suggested the Iranians may want to trade Levinson for a former Iranian general the Iranians believe was kidnapped by the CIA earlier this year in Turkey. The CIA has denied any involvement in the disappearance of the general.
"There have been various reports in the media that my husband is being detained in Iran," Levinson's wife said. "I'm confused by those reports because there would be no reason for him to be detained."
"I need to hear from my husband, to hear his voice, to see his face," she wrote, "and to know that he is still alive."
The State Department has said they still have "no reliable information" about Levinson's disappearance or where he might be.
The Iranian government has said little publicly about Levinson's case, other than that they pledge support for U.S. efforts to find him.
The National Security News Service report said Levinson had gone to Iran to meet with an American fugitive, David Belfield, who took refuge in Iran after the murder of an Iranian diplomat in suburban Washington in 1980. Belfield told the news service that he had met with Levinson at the request of a former NBC News producer, Ira Silverman, who has reported extensively on the Belfield case.
The news service quoted Belfield as saying Silverman ignored his warnings that high tensions between the U.S. and Iran could make a meeting with former FBI agent Levison potentially dangerous. Silverman declined to comment other than to say "for now, the main thing, the only thing is to get him home."