Feb 11 2016
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) welcomed Senate passage of S.Res.99, a resolution calling on Iran to follow through on its repeated promises to assist in the case of Coral Springs, Florida resident Robert Levinson, the longest held American civilian in history, who went missing in Iran in 2007.
“It is outrageous that the Iranian government has failed to provide information that would help bring Bob home,” Rubio said. “The Obama Administration missed an opportunity to make the freedom of Americans held in Iran a priority during the nuclear negotiations, and has left Bob’s case unresolved even as they have continued to make concession after concession to Tehran.
“Bob and his family deserve much better,” Rubio added. “This sends an important message that America stands with the Levinsons and we want to see the Iranian regime provide information regarding the whereabouts of Bob so that his wife and their seven children can get the answers they deserve.”
A PDF of the resolution is available here and the full text is below.
Calling on the Government of Iran to follow through on repeated promises of assistance in the case of Robert Levinson, the longest held United States civilian in our Nation’s history.
Whereas United States citizen Robert Levinson is a retired agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a resident of Coral Springs, Florida, the husband of Christine Levinson, and father of their seven children;
Whereas Robert Levinson traveled from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Kish Island, Iran, on March 8, 2007;
Whereas, after traveling to Kish Island and checking into the Hotel Maryam, Robert Levinson disappeared on March 9, 2007;
Whereas, in December 2007, Robert Levinson's wife, Christine, traveled to Kish Island to retrace Mr. Levinson's steps and met with officials of the Government of Iran who pledged to help in the investigation;
Whereas, for more than eight years, the United States Government has continually pressed the Government of Iran to provide any information on the whereabouts of Robert Levinson and to help ensure his prompt and safe return to his family;
Whereas officials of the Government of Iran promised their continued assistance to the relatives of Robert Levinson during the visit of the family to the Islamic Republic of Iran in December 2007;
Whereas, in November 2010, the Levinson family received a video of Mr. Levinson in captivity, representing the first proof of life since his disappearance and providing some initial indications that he was being held somewhere in southwest Asia;
Whereas, in April 2011, the Levinson family received a series of pictures of Mr. Levinson, which provided further indications that he was being held somewhere in southwest Asia;
Whereas Secretary of State John Kerry stated on August 28, 2013, “The United States respectfully asks the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to work cooperatively with us in our efforts to help U.S. citizen Robert Levinson.”;
Whereas, on September 28, 2013, during the first direct phone conversation between the heads of government of the United States and Iran since 1979, President Barack Obama raised the case of Robert Levinson to President of Iran Hassan Rouhani and urged the President of Iran to help locate Mr. Levinson and reunite him with his family;
Whereas, on August 29, 2014, Secretary of State Kerry again stated that the United States “respectfully request the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran work cooperatively with us to find Mr. Levinson and bring him home”;
Whereas, on July 14, 2015, the Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, Germany, and Iran agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action;
Whereas, on January 16, 2016, the Government of Iran released five Americans detained in Iran, Jason Rezaian of California, Saeed Abedini of Idaho, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati of Michigan, Matthew Trevithick of Massachusetts, and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari;
Whereas, on January 17, 2016, President Obama stated `even as we rejoice in the safe return of others, we will never forget about Bob,’ referring to Robert Levinson, and that `each and every day but especially today our hearts are with the Levinson family and we will never rest until their family is whole again.’;
Whereas, on January 19, 2016, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated that the United States Government had `secured a commitment from the Iranians to use the channel that has now been opened to secure the release of those individuals that we know were being held by Iran…to try and gather information about Mr. Levinson’s possible whereabouts’;
Whereas, on November 26. 2013, Mr. Levinson became the longest held United States civilian in our Nation's history; and
Whereas the Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced a $5,000,000 reward for information leading to Mr. Levinson's safe return: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) recognizes that Robert Levinson is the longest held United States civilian in our Nation's history;
(2) notes the repeated pledges by and renewed commitment of officials of the Government of Iran to provide their Government's assistance in the case of Robert Levinson;
(3) urges the Government of Iran, as a humanitarian gesture, to act on its promises to assist in the case of Robert Levinson and to immediately provide all available information from all entities of the Government of Iran regarding the disappearance of Robert Levinson to the United States Government;
(4) urges the President and the allies of the United States to continue to raise with officials of the Government of Iran the case of Robert Levinson at every opportunity, notwithstanding ongoing and serious disagreements the United States Government has with the Government of Iran on a broad array of issues, including Iran’s ballistic missile program, sponsorship of international terrorism, and human rights abuses; and
(5) expresses sympathy to the family of Robert Levinson for their anguish and expresses hope that their ordeal can be brought to an end in the near future.