Today marks 10 years since Bob Levinson, a retired FBI agent and Florida resident, went missing while visiting an island off the coast of Iran. U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) filed a resolution today calling on the government of Iran to follow through on its repeated promises to help search for Levinson.
“Today, we renew our call on Iran to make good on those promises and return Bob,” Nelson said in remarks on the Senate floor this afternoon. “We also urge the president and our allies to keep pressing Iran – to make clear that the United States has not forgotten Bob and we won’t forget him until he’s home.”
Following is a transcript of Nelson’s remarks and here’s a link to watch video of his speech: https://youtu.be/hASS4wwYulY.
The text of Nelson and Rubio’s resolution is available here.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson
Remarks on the Senate Floor
March 9, 2017
Sen. Nelson: Madam President, I come to the floor today with a heavy heart because ten years ago today, Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent, was detained in Iran on the tourist island of Kish island in the Persian Gulf.
Bob, a long-time and much respected FBI agent who had been retired, had served his country for 28 years. He is the longest held civilian in our nation’s history. He’s a husband, a father of seven and now a grandfather of six and he deserves to be reunited with his family.
Since Bob’s detention, American officials have sought Iran’s cooperation in locating and returning Bob to his family. And, of course, Iranian officials have promised over and over their assistance, but after ten long years, those promises have amounted to nothing. Bob still is not home.
The bottom line, Madam President, is that Iran is responsible for returning Bob to his family. If Iranian officials don’t have Bob, then they sure know where to find him.
So today we renew our call on Iran to make good on those promises and return Bob, return him where he ought to be, with his family.
Iran’s continued delay in returning him, in addition to the very serious disagreements the United States has with the government of Iran about its missile program, its sponsorship of terrorism and its human rights abuses, it’s just another obstacle Iran must overcome if it wants to improve relations with the United States.
We also urge the president and our allies to keep pressing Iran to make clear that the United States has not forgotten Bob and won’t forget him until he’s home.
Obviously, we owe this to Bob, a servant of America, and we certainly owe it to his family. And so to Bob’s family, we recognize your tireless efforts over the years for ten long years to bring your dad home, and we offer our sympathies.
Madam President, I yield the floor.