There is also news tonight, about that american grandfather held hostage in iran. Today a revelation. A lawyer for his family said he was on a spy mission, a rogue cia mission. Abc's chief... See More
There is also news tonight, about that american grandfather held hostage in iran. Today a revelation. A lawyer for his family said he was on a spy mission, a rogue cia mission. Abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross with the new information tonight. Reporter: Over the seven years that bob levinson became america's longest held hostage ever, he was described again and again by the u.S. Government as a private citizen, who went missing on a business trip to iran. Today, a family lawyer, david McGEE, REVEALED LEVINSON WAS Actually a u.S. Spy. The cia spent bob levinson to iran to do an investigation on their behalf. Reporter: He was working for the cia. He was. Reporter: The surprising admission from his family came one day after the associated press and washington post first reported levinson's cia ties. Rejecting u.S. Government concerns, that were repeated today, that the story could put levinson's life at further risk. A story we believe was highly irresponsible to publish. Reporter: According to his family, levinson was involved in a number of missions targeting iran's nuclear supply network but working for a rogue unit at the cia, not cleared for such assignments. They weren't authorized within the cia to do that. But he was so productive, they had a hard time not doing it. Reporter: When levinson got caught on his last trip to meet a source on the iranian island OF KISH IN 2007, McGEE SAYS THE Cia lied to his family and congress about his role. Rather than acknowledge what they had done and try to save bob's life, they denied him. Reporter: Mcgee says the cia has since apologized and paid $2.5 million to levinson's family with three cia employees forced out. The last time his family had proof he was alive was in this video three years ago. 33 years of service. Reporter: Since then the family says the u.S. Has done not enough to get his release. Please help me. Reporter: Levinson's family says it has decided to reveal all in hopes it will put more pressure on the u.S. To push for his release. Figuring the iranians already know he was working for the cia. Endlessly complicated, this whole story. Thank you, brian ross.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.