CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (WPEC) — As President Donald Trump welcomes home three Americans who were held captive in North Korea, a Florida family is hoping his approach to foreign policy can wring similar concessions out of Iran.
Bob Levinson has been missing in Iran since 2007 and is presumed to be captured.
When Trump was on the campaign trail, WPEC asked him about the disappearance of Levinson, a retired FBI agent who had been doing contract work for the CIA. He said if he became president, he’d get to the bottom of it.
With Trump taking a more aggressive stance toward Iran this week by backing out of the Obama administration's nuclear agreement with the regime, Bob Levinson’s son Doug believes that could finally happen.
“He is the longest held hostage in American history, the previous two administrations could not get him home, and the president is a dealmaker," Doug Levinson said Wednesday. "If he really truly says ‘America first’... this is a patriot who has been waiting for 11 years to get back to his family — he’s the father of seven."
Doug Levinson was just 13 years old when his father went to Iran and vanished on Kish Island. The Iranian government denied involvement in his disappearance, but U.S. officials believed he was arrested by Iranian intelligence officers.
A proof of life image later surfaced, showing him in a seemingly weakened condition in a prison suit. Doug Levinson believes his father is alive, locked up somewhere.
He said Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal could be a step toward getting his father home, and his family hopes Trump will make his return a priority in negotiating a new agreement.
“Yes, absolutely, the supreme leader [of Iran] has the power and the authority," Doug Levinson said. "He can release my father immediately if he wanted to, he could do that tomorrow and send him back."
Bob Levinson's children have moved to various parts of the country and now have families and careers, but his home is still in Coral Springs, Fla. U.S. officials told CNN he is one of at least six Americans believed to be held captive in Iran.