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updated: 11/26/2013 10:44 AM

U.S. pleads for release of ex-FBI from Iran

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The White House is making a public plea for Iran to return a retired FBI agent missing for six years.

Robert Levinson disappeared during a business trip to Iran's Kish Island in March 2007. The United States believes the private investigator and father of seven was abducted and has been detained in Iran.

Levinson's case has been a topic in recent negotiations between U.S. and Iranian officials aimed at addressing Iran's nuclear program and improving diplomatic ties.

The White House issued a statement Tuesday that said with the holiday season approaching, the United States remains committed to finding Levinson and bringing him home. The statement said, quote, "We respectfully ask the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to assist us in securing Mr. Levinson's health, welfare, and safe return."

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