A resolution demanding Iran offer more assistance in releasing Robert Levinson, a Florida resident who has been missing in that Middle Eastern for almost a decade, is gaining steam on Capitol Hill.
A resolution from Florida’s two U.S. senators--Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio--passed the Senate without opposition on Thursday. Levinson worked for the FBI and DEA went missing in 2007 during a private investigation case in Iran involving cigarette smuggling. Back in 2013, the Associated Press ran a story insisting Levinson worked for the CIA.
“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.”
On the other side of the Capitol, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., is backing a similar resolution which moved through the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee on Thursday. Deutch is the ranking Democrat on that subcommittee.
"In just one month, we will mark nine years since Bob Levinson disappeared on Iran's Kish Island on March 9, 2007 and in those nine years, the Levinson family has never given up on their efforts to bring their husband and father home,” Deutch said. “They deserve to feel the same elation and relief felt by the families of the other Americans released by Iran in the recent prisoner exchange."
Deutch, who broke ranks with President Barack Obama over his deal with Iran over its nuclear program, gave a tip of the cap to U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., who chairs the subcommittee for her support and said he hoped the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee would quickly take up the resolution.
In the meantime, Deutch is urging “Americans to help raise awareness about Bob Levinson's case by using the hashtag #WhatAboutBob” on Twitter.
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