|US Didn't Abandon Robert Levinson, Kerry Says|
|Benjamin Bell (@benjaminbell)||Dec 14, 2013, 1:03 PM|
Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking exclusively to ABC's Martha Raddatz for "This Week," insisted that the United States had not abandoned former FBI agent Robert Levinson - the 65-year-old American who went missing in Iran seven years ago - and said he was personally involved in the effort to locate him.
This week, Levinson's family said he was working for a rogue CIA operation when he disappeared and accused the government of betraying him. Kerry rejected this narrative in his interview with Raddatz.
WATCH Kerry on "This Week" in 1984.
"There hasn't been progress in the sense that we don't have him back. But to suggest that we have abandoned him or anybody has abandoned him is simply incorrect and not helpful," Kerry said.
"The fact is, that I have personally raised the issue not only at the highest level that I have been involved with, but also through other intermediaries. So we don't have any meeting with anybody who has something to do with Iran or an approach to Iran where we don't talk to them about how we might be able to find not just Levinson, but we have two other Americans that we're deeply concerned about," he said.
Levinson Family|Brian Snyder/AP Photo
Kerry, who seemed to outline a robust effort to locate Levinson, but did not provide many specific details, would not say if the Iranian government was complicit in his disappearance, but did tell Raddatz he thought the regime could help resolve the situation and he hoped they would.
READ a Full Transcript of Martha Raddatz's Interview With Secretary John Kerry.
"We're looking for proof of life. We're working on several processes that I'm not free to talk about. But there are a number of different channels that are being worked aggressively," Kerry said.
"I think the Iranian government - I can't tell you what happened or how the sequence was, but I think the Iranian government has the ability to help us here, and we hope they will," he said.
- This Week (@ThisWeekABC) December 14, 2013