Bipartisan Letter Demands Answers on Bob Levinson
Levinson family handout via Reuters
WASHINGTON – Nearly two dozen lawmakers led by Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) published a letter to President Donald Trump imploring the White House to increase diplomatic efforts to secure the release of U.S. citizen Bob Levinson detained in Iran for ten years. Despite the ongoing tensions with Tehran, the bipartisan group wrote, “We request that you reengage with Tehran and make it clear that continued delay in returning Bob… is another obstacle Iran must overcome if it wants to improve relations with the United States.”
The group also included Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who employs Levinson’s son, Doug, as a Congressional staffer.
Michael Anton, a spokesman for the National Security Council, declined to respond to Jewish Insider’s request for comment on the White House’s efforts to secure Levinson’s release or his current medical condition in Iran.
Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL) has also worked tirelessly to advocate Levinson’s release raising his status regularly at Congressional hearings including during the recent testimony of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. In May, Deutch and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), introduced a bipartisan resolution raising awareness of Levinson’s plight.
The lawmakers requested that a senior administration official be in regular contact with the Levinson family to update them on their efforts.
While former President Barack Obama signed the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran lifting billions in sanctions against the regime, Levinson’s release was not included in this agreement.
“After ten years, Bob is still not home, and despite repeated promises, Iran has yet to cooperate in any meaningful way. Iran is responsible — if Iranian officials don’t have Bob, they know where to find him,” the letter added.