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The family of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who was taken hostage in Iran in 2007, told ABC News Monday that they feel “betrayed” by the Obama administration.
“I’m very disappointed and feel extremely betrayed by them. They have done nothing to get in touch with me, other than after I asked them to,” Christine Levinson, Robert’s wife, said.
ABC anchor David Muir said that the Levinson family “never got a call from the White House that their loved one would not be included” in the recent exchange of four Americans that were imprisoned in Iran. Instead, the Levinson family heard about the prisoner exchange “on television.”
Levinson’s family said that Robert is a patriot whose loyalty to his country has not been reciprocated by the current administration.
“Your father is the American left behind,” ABC reporter Brian Ross said.
“Absolutely,” Dan Levinson, Robert’s son, said. “Who was serving his country, and his country hasn’t done its duty to get him home.”
When asked if she ever considered whether her husband was alive or not, Levinson’s wife said that she would not give up hope. The Levinsons have not been able to contact Robert at all during the nine years of his captivity, and the Iranian government claims not to know his whereabouts. However, the family periodically receives cryptic photographs of Robert with unkempt facial hair, wearing the outfit of a prisoner and holding signs with taunting messages.
“Mrs. Levinson, do you consider that Bob might, in fact, have died in captivity?” Ross said.
“No, I will never consider that until I have proof. I believe every day he’s trying to come home to our family. We will never give up,” Levinson said.
The Obama administration has heaped praise on the Iran nuclear deal and the side negotiations that led to the recent prisoner exchange. President Obama said Sunday that both events demonstrate how “smart, patient and disciplined” diplomacy can change U.S.-Iranian relations for the better.