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Kerry meets with family of ex-FBI agent who disappeared in Iran

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerryn boards his aircraft to return to Washington at the airport in Doha, March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Jacquelyn Mar
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerryn boards his aircraft to return to Washington at the airport in Doha, March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Jacquelyn Mar

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday met with the family of a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007, and urged anyone who may have information about his whereabouts to come forward.

Robert Levinson, who retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1998, disappeared from Kish Island in Iran on a business trip in 2007. Levinson's family refers to him as a hostage and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in 2011 there were indications he was being held in Southwest Asia.

"I met with Mr. Levinson's wife and son today to reiterate that the U.S. government remains committed to locating Mr. Levinson and reuniting him safely with his family," Kerry said in a statement.

"A husband and father to seven children, Mr. Levinson has missed birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and other important milestones since his disappearance six years ago from Iran's Kish Island. He is also the grandfather of two, the second of which was born in his absence."

Kerry's statement came the day before the sixth anniversary of Levinson's disappearance. Last year, the FBI offered a rare $1 million reward for any information that could lead to his safe return.

Iran's government previously said it has no information about Levinson's whereabouts.

In a statement, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also said the United States "will continue to do all that we can to bring him home safely."

He added that the Iranian government has previously offered assistance in locating Levinson.

"We look forward to receiving this assistance, even as we disagree on other key issues," Carney added.

(Reporting By Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Stacey Joyce and Paul Simao)

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