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'I Believe Iran Can Help Us,' Says Wife Of Captured FBI Agent

The wife of missing ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, Christine (second right), traveled to Tehran in 2007 with her son Daniel (right) and sister Susan (second left) in a vain attempt to learn more about her husband's disappearance.
The family of American Robert Levinson, the former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran more than four years ago, has publicly released a video, which they said they received a year ago. The tape shows Levinson, looking haggard, talking about his captivity, and asking the U.S. government for help. Levinson’s wife, Christine, told RFE/RL’s correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari that one year after sending the video, his captors have still made no demands.

RFE/RL: Why did you decide to release the video of your husband now, a year after it was emailed to you by his captors?

Christine Levinson: We tried to get in touch with the group holding Bob to find out what we needed to do to get Bob home and they never responded. And so, we have tried many times [and] now we feel this is a way -- between our family message and the video -- to hopefully have them get in touch with us so that we can get Bob home alive and quickly.

RFE/RL: So you have no idea what the people who are holding your husband want in exchange for his freedom?

Levinson: We have no information on how we can get him home.

RFE/RL: How did your husband seem to you in the video? Does he sound like himself?

Levinson: He seemed like he was fine, much thinner than when he left home, of course, and I was sad to see him looking so tired. However, I was happy to see that he is alive. As soon as he said the first word, I knew it was Bob.

RFE/RL: It seems he might not be in Iran anymore, which is where he disappeared from. Reports suggest that at some point he has been taken to either Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Levinson: I have no idea where he is, and that’s one of the problems. We don’t know what group is holding him or where he is. It’s a very difficult area of the world and we don’t have any information.

RFE/RL: In the video you made with your son, you make no mention of the Iranian government; instead you speak directly to his captors. Do you still believe that Iran can help you find your husband?

Levinson: I believe that Iran can help us find him. In September, when he was here for the UN General Assembly, [Iran’s President Mahmud Ahmadinejad] said that he was willing to help find Bob, and so I'm hoping that he will continue to have his government do that.

RFE/RL: You and your family have gone through some very difficult times since your husband went missing some four years ago. Did the video give you some hope?

Levinson: Yes, very much so. I continue to believe he’s alive and will be able to come home safely soon. Anyone who can help us or wants to see the video in its entirety can get in touch with us at

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