The White House is keeping up pressure on Iran to help search for an American from South Florida who went missing nine years ago.
Wednesday marks the ninth anniversary of the disappearance of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent from Coral Springs. White House spokesman Josh Earnest says finding Levinson remains a top priority. He notes Iran agreed to step up its role in the search as part of prisoner exchange negotiated alongside a nuclear agreement earlier this year.
An FBI statement Wednesday says the U.S. is encouraged by the recent cooperation from the Iranian government.
Levinson disappeared during a trip to Iran's Kish Island in 2007. A 2013 Associated Press investigation found he was working for the CIA on an unauthorized intelligence-gathering mission to glean information about Iran's nuclear program.
U.S. officials have said they are no longer certain he remains in the country.
In a statement Wednesday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said the Obama administration needs to do more to pressure the Iranian government to give information on Levinson's whereabouts.
"It is outrageous that the Iranian government has failed to provide any information that would help bring Bob home to Florida. Iran is a police state. Very little happens on Iranian territory that the authorities are not aware of," Rubio's statement read. "The Obama Administration missed an opportunity to make the freedom of Americans held in Iran a priority during the nuclear negotiations, and has left Bob’s case unresolved even as they have continued to make concession after concession to Tehran to bring other prisoners home."