(TheFreedomFlag.com)- The United States finally went public with accusations that Iran was responsible for the disappearance of Robert Levinson, an FBI agent, back in 2007.
On Monday, the Trump administration accused Iran of being responsible for Levinson’s probably death. Along with that announcement, the U.S. government announced sanctions against two Iranian intelligence officials who are accused of being responsible.
The two men are Ahmad Khazai and Mohammad Baseri. They both work for the Ministry of Intelligence. The U.S. government says they were responsible for detaining Levinson, who would be 72 years old. Other senior members of the government were also likely involved in Levinson’s disappearance.
The U.S. doesn’t know for sure, but it suspects that Levinson died while in detention in Iran. He has been missing for more than 14 years, as his family has continued to seek answers.
As a senior U.S. official recently told reporters:
“We know how senior Iranian officials sanctioned Mr. Levinson’s abduction and detention. The regime also took deliberate actions to obfuscate the responsibility through an extensive disinformation campaign. Iranian leaders have lied over and over again.”
Other officials who were present on a call with the media said the incoming Biden administration has to work to free all Americans who are being held in Iran, if they are to renegotiate a nuclear deal with the country.
It’s still disputed whether Levinson was working with the CIA when he was visiting Kish Island, which is located in the Persian Gulf.
In a statement, Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, said:
“The government of Iran pledged to provide assistance in bringing Bob Levinson home, but it has never followed through. The truth is that Iranian intelligence officers — with the approval of senior Iranian officials — were involved in Bob’s abduction and detention.”
According to the Treasury Department, the new sanctions on the two men mean “[a]ll property and interests in property of these persons that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported.”
Citizens of the U.S. are also blocked from being able to work with either of the men.
It’s unlikely either of these men have assets in America, a U.S. official said. However, some other countries issue similar sanctions when the U.S. does, and that could have wide-reaching impact on them. The official said:
“There are secondary sanctions implications for any of their external dealings outside of Iran. It is one part of a pressure campaign.”
Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, commented:
“With this announcement, the United States government is initiating the first public actions against the Iranian government to hold them accountable for the abduction of Robert Levinson — the longest ever held in American hostage. The United States will relentlessly pursue all others involved as the investigation continues.
“Since the beginning of the administration, President Trump has made it clear that Iran will be held accountable for its use of detention and hostage taking as a tool of ‘diplomacy’ and that the United States will no longer accept Iranian excuses for what we know they have done to Mr. Levinson.”