WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The family of a former FBI agent missing in Iran while freelancing for the CIA says the U.S. government has abandoned their loved one in the field.
Robert Levinson, 65, disappeared in 2007 while on Iran's Kish Island. The Iranian government pledged to assist in searching for Levinson but family members question the authenticity of their efforts after Levinson appeared in disturbing "proof of life" videos released by his captors.
The fact, Levinson was working on a freelance basis for the CIA at the time of his disappearance was known by many news outlets who reported on the case but did not disclose the nature of his mission in Iran out of fear it would put Levinson's life in grave danger if the Iranian government knew he was on a spy mission.
That changed last week when the Associated Press and the Washington Post went ahead -- despite angry denunciations from the Obama administration and the Levinson family -- with reports about his true role in the country.
In the days since, James Comey, a lawyer acting as the Levinson family's spokesman, said the Obama administration has done little to secure his release, ABC News reported.
"Rather than acknowledge what they had done and try to and save Bob's life, [the U.S. government] denied him," McGee said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney declined to address questions over Levinson's CIA ties but called the reports of them "highly irresponsible."
A recent conversation between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart included no mention of Levinson's case.