WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The wife of Robert Levinson, a U.S. citizen believed to be held in Iran, told CBS News he was a CIA consultant.
Christine Levinson has previously said, like the U.S. government, that Levinson was in Iran investigating cigarette smuggling. Levinson is a former FBI and federal drug agency employee.
"He was working as a consultant for the CIA," she told CBS on Monday. "He was also a private investigator. He was able to do both at the same time in his travels."
Levinson's family has not heard directly from him in seven years, although his wife received an anonymous email with documents that said he had been arrested and detained in Iran. Some time later, she got photographs and a videotape.
David McGee, Christine Levinson's lawyer, said the United States should also admit her husband had links to the CIA, suggesting that might encourage his release.
"There is no further value in continuing to deny what everyone in the world knows to be the truth," McGee said.
Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said the U.S. government continues to work for Levinson's release and that both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have raised the case in talks with their Iranian counterparts.