Iran has denied a declare by the household of former FBI agent Robert Levinson that he has died in custody there, saying he left the nation years in the past.
“Credible evidence” prompt Mr Levinson left Iran for an “unspecified destination” in some unspecified time in the future previously, a overseas ministry spokesman mentioned.
Iran has at all times mentioned it has no details about what occurred to him.
Mr Levinson’s spouse says he disappeared on the Iranian island of Kish in 2007, working as a non-public investigator.
In a press release on Wednesday, the Levinson household mentioned it had just lately acquired info from US officers that had led them to attract their conclusion.
“It is impossible to describe our pain,” they mentioned.
“If not for the cruel, heartless actions of the Iranian regime, Robert Levinson would be alive and home with us today.”
Iran reiterated its earlier feedback concerning the case, saying it had been looking for out about Mr Levinson’s situation “but could not find any signs of him being alive”.
US officials suspect Mr Levinson was kidnapped by Iranian intelligence forces to be used as a bargaining chip in dealings with Washington.
What happened to Robert Levinson?
There are conflicting claims, but little hard evidence as to the circumstances surrounding Mr Levinson’s disappearance.
His family say Mr Levinson, who retired from the FBI in 1998, was on an unauthorised CIA mission when he went missing on Kish.
Proof-of-life photos and a video were received by Mr Levinson’s family in 2010 and 2011, which they later released to media.
The images showed Mr Levinson, who was 58 when he went missing, with a long grey beard and wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, similar to those worn by US detainees in Guantanamo Bay.
A sign around his neck read: “why you can’t assist me”.
Experts decided the video had been despatched by way of Pakistan, whereas the pictures have been despatched from an web tackle in Afghanistan.
Pashtun marriage ceremony music could possibly be heard taking part in faintly within the background of the video, suggesting Mr Levinson could possibly be held in both of these two international locations.
Another concept of US officers was that the Iranian authorities may have routed the photographs externally in an effort in charge Mr Levinson’s disappearance on another person.