CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – Bob Levinson disappeared from the Iranian Island of Kish in March 2007 and the Iranian government has long denied that it knows what happened to him. In 2013, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told CBS ‘Face the Nation’ that Iran had no knowledge of his whereabouts.
“We know that he is not incarcerated in Iran,” Zarif said.
But now, Levinson’s family says a pair of official Iranian documents reinforce their belief that Iran was not telling the truth. The Levinson family says the documents show an order to arrest Levinson from the day before he disappeared.
“We’ve always know that they arrested him but now we believe that Iran can no longer pretend that it knows nothing,” said Levinson’s daughter, Sarah (Levinson) Moriarty. “The world is seeing what really happened and they need to come clean and admit to it right now and send him home to us.”
The documents appear to go hand in hand with a statement recently filed by Iran with the United Nations. In the UN statement Iran said that Robert Levinson has an ongoing case in the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. The family believes Iran accused their father of espionage when he was arrested while working for the CIA.
“If you have any charges, we would like to know what they are, we would like to see my father,” Moriarty said. “We would like him to come home.”
Levinson’s family says one of the documents reveals a health scare soon after he vanished.
“We’re also incredibly concerned because the second document talked of him falling into a coma,” she said. “We are desperately concerned about his health. Every single day matters to bringing him home.”
But the family believes that Levinson recovered because they received this video and these photos a in the months after they learned of the documents in 2010 and showed them to Iranian officials at the UN. Moriarty said that after they discussed the documents with the Iranians, something unusual happened.
“Just a couple months later we received our first proof of life video,” she explained. “Which was meant be a distraction and point in an opposite direction of the Iranian regime. We think that is key because obviously it compelled them to do something.”
Moriarty said after the family received photos of the documents they worked to try an confirm some of the names and details on them.
“We have an attorney on the ground in Iran and when we first received these documents, he was able to confirm to us that these are real people on Kish Island,” she said.
Moriarty also said that U.S. federal agents tried to confirm the documents but could not vouch for their authenticity. Media reports show that an expert has now not only verified the authenticity of the documents but also translated certain words that provided new insight into the “judicial” aspect of the case against Levinson.
The Levinson family believes the recent developments show the Iranians may be opening the door to provide answers to the mystery of where their father is and to bringing him home.
“It is horrific the kind of torture that the Iranian regime has put on us, on the other Americans held unjustly and it needs to end and this is their opportunity to do it,” Moriarty said.
The Levinson family says their father’s case is a priority for the Trump Administration. The President has tweeted about it, saying it would be a “positive step” if Iran turned her Levinson. The Trump administration has also increased the reward to $25 million dollars for information that leads Levinson’s safe return.