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White House Says Return Of Robert Levinson From Iran Is ‘Priority’

(JTA) — The Trump administration said the return of a Jewish American man working as a spy who disappeared from Iran in 2007 remains a priority.

Robert Levinson, 68, of Coral Springs, Florida, a consultant for the Central Intelligence Agency, has been missing since disappearing from Iran’s Kish Island during what has since been revealed as a rogue CIA operation.

The New York Times reported Sunday, citing a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, that administration officials had contacted Levinson’s relatives to assure them that his case was a priority. “The U.S. government will never cease its efforts to bring back our citizens,” an NSC statement said, according to the newspaper.

As a candidate in 2015, President Donald Trump vowed to bring Levinson home.

Under President Barack Obama, five Americans were released by Iran in January 2016 in an exchange timed to coincide with the implementation of the sanctions relief for nuclear rollbacks deal struck between Iran and six major powers.

Some American officials believe that Levinson died in captivity, or that he is no longer being held in Iran.

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