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Report: Sen. Nelson Tried To Prevent Publication Of Levinson Story

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Senator Bill Nelson, D-FL, speaks during the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on Cruise Industry Oversight March 1, 2012 at the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Senator Bill Nelson, D-FL, speaks during the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on Cruise Industry Oversight March 1, 2012 at the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Associated Press published a story about missing Coral Springs man Robert Levinson Thursday, but not before Senator Bill Nelson asked the AP to not publish the story.

Levinson has been missing for years in Iran and the AP learned as far back as 2010 that he had ties to the Central Intelligence Agency. The AP had agreed three times to hold the story because the U.S. believed it had leads to get Levinson back.

Thursday, the AP went with the story after determining that multiple attempts to rescue Levinson had come up empty and there was no confirmation Levinson was even still alive, according to the Washington Post.

Senator Nelson, who sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, became involved in the case after he was approached by friends of Levinson. Nelson said Friday that he personally asked the AP to refrain from publishing the article.

“I urged the editor of AP not to run the story,” Nelson told the Washington Post. “My only response that I can give is this is classified information. I can’t talk about it. That’s all I can tell you. Just stay tuned.”

Levinson has not been heard from since he traveled to the island of Kish near Iran in 2007. According to the Post, he was in the area to investigate corruption and was also discussing renewing his contract with the CIA.

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