NEW YORK (Reuters) – The wife of a former FBI agent who went missing in Iran 18 months ago said on Sunday she had requested a meeting with Iran’s president when he is in New York this week for the annual U.N. General Assembly.
Christine Levinson said she was waiting to hear from Iran’s mission to the United Nations whether she would be able to see President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to discuss her husband’s case.
“I hope President Ahmadinejad will agree to meet me and to look into my husband’s case. He has the power to get things done,” Levinson told Reuters.
Ahmadinejad is set to address the United Nations on Tuesday along with other world leaders.
Robert Levinson vanished in March last year while on a business trip to Iran’s Gulf island of Kish. Christine Levinson said she still had no credible information about his whereabouts or what might have happened to him.
“As time goes on, I am obviously getting more and more concerned,” said Levinson, who arrived in New York on Sunday for the U.N. meeting from her home in Florida.
She has an appointment on Monday to see the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, and she hoped he would also use his influence to get information about her husband.
The State Department has made several appeals to Iran over the former FBI agent via the Swiss government but none of these requests has produced results. Switzerland handles U.S. interests in Iran as Washington has no diplomatic ties with Tehran.
The United States is at loggerheads with Tehran on a range of issues, including Iran’s nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at building an atomic bomb. Tehran argues it is for peaceful power purposes.
Robert Levinson retired from the FBI a decade ago and his wife said he had told her he was going to Kish to investigate counterfeiting and smuggling of cigarettes for a client, probably a tobacco company.
When contacted, Iran’s U.N. mission had no immediate comment on Christine Levinson’s request to see Ahmadinejad.