Tehran said on Thursday that a former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran in March 2007, had left the country years ago despite his family saying he had died in Iranian custody.
“Based on credible evidence, Levinson has left Iran years ago for an unspecified destination,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, according to state television.
“In the past years Iran has tried to find out his state but could not find any signs of him being alive.”
A spokesman for the Iranian mission at the United Nations said Tehran has no knowledge about the whereabouts of Levinson.
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had not been told that Levinson was dead, but things did not look good and a lot of people thought Levinson had died.
White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said in a statement later: “While the investigation is ongoing, we believe that Bob Levinson may have passed away some time ago.”
Levinson’s family said in a posting on Facebook and a website: “Today with aching hearts, we are sharing devastating news about Robert Levinson, the head of our family.”