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Key events in case of ex-FBI agent lost in Iran on CIA job

March 8, 2017 GMT

              FILE- In this March 6, 2012 file photo, an FBI poster showing a composite image of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, right, of how he would look like now after five years in captivity, and an image, center, taken from the video, released by his kidnappers, and a picture before he was kidnapped, left, displayed during a news conference in Washington. It’s been 10 years since former FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared while in Iran on an unauthorized CIA mission and his family is still waiting for answers. His family tells The Associated Press they hope the new administration of President Donald Trump will do more to find him. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

              FILE- In this March 6, 2012 file photo, an FBI poster showing a composite image of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, right, of how he would look like now after five years in captivity, and an image, center, taken from the video, released by his kidnappers, and a picture before he was kidnapped, left, displayed during a news conference in Washington. It’s been 10 years since former FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared while in Iran on an unauthorized CIA mission and his family is still waiting for answers. His family tells The Associated Press they hope the new administration of President Donald Trump will do more to find him. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

              FILE- In this March 6, 2012 file photo, an FBI poster showing a composite image of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, right, of how he would look like now after five years in captivity, and an image, center, taken from the video, released by his kidnappers, and a picture before he was kidnapped, left, displayed during a news conference in Washington. It’s been 10 years since former FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared while in Iran on an unauthorized CIA mission and his family is still waiting for answers. His family tells The Associated Press they hope the new administration of President Donald Trump will do more to find him. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
FILE- In this March 6, 2012 file photo, an FBI poster showing a composite image of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, right, of how he would look like now after five years in captivity, and an image, center, taken from the video, released by his kidnappers, and a picture before he was kidnapped, left, displayed during a news conference in Washington. It’s been 10 years since former FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared while in Iran on an unauthorized CIA mission and his family is still waiting for answers. His family tells The Associated Press they hope the new administration of President Donald Trump will do more to find him. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
FILE- In this March 6, 2012 file photo, an FBI poster showing a composite image of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, right, of how he would look like now after five years in captivity, and an image, center, taken from the video, released by his kidnappers, and a picture before he was kidnapped, left, displayed during a news conference in Washington. It’s been 10 years since former FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared while in Iran on an unauthorized CIA mission and his family is still waiting for answers. His family tells The Associated Press they hope the new administration of President Donald Trump will do more to find him. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Some key dates in the disappearance of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who vanished while in Iran on an unauthorized CIA mission:

March 9, 2007 — Levinson is detained by suspected Iranian security agents in the lobby of his hotel on Kish Island, Iran, a Persian Gulf resort area and free-trade zone for which no Iranian visa is required.

April 2007 — Levinson’s disappearance becomes public knowledge as the U.S. tries to ask Iran for information. Authorities end up describing him as a former FBI agent investigating cigarette smuggling for a private client.

December 2007 — Levinson’s family flies to Tehran and Kish Island and speaks to Iranian authorities, who promise to send a report to them on their investigation into his disappearance. No report ever comes.

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January 2009 — During a confirmation hearing for Hillary Clinton to become U.S. secretary of state, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson brings up Levinson’s case and says: “We think he is being held by the government of Iran in a secret prison.”

September 2010 — Then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad disavows any knowledge of Levinson’s whereabouts in an interview with The Associated Press. He adds: “Of course if it becomes clear what his goal was, or if he was indeed on a mission, then perhaps specific assistance can be given.”

March 2011 — The AP reports that Levinson’s family has received proof of him being alive. Clinton releases a statement saying the U.S. had evidence he was being held “somewhere in southwest Asia.” Months later, the AP reports that proof includes photographs and a video of Levinson.

March 2012 — The FBI offers $1 million for information leading to the safe recovery and return of Levinson.

December 2013 — The AP reports that Levinson was in Iran on an unapproved CIA mission. The AP also reports that the CIA paid Levinson’s family $2.5 million to head off a revealing lawsuit, while three veteran analysts were forced out of the agency and seven others were disciplined.

March 2015 — The FBI raises its reward for information on Levinson to $5 million.

January 2016 — A prisoner swap between Iran and the U.S. amid the nuclear deal fails to include Levinson. A White House spokesman later says U.S. officials believe Levinson may no longer be in Iran.

March 2017 — As Levinson’s family marks 10 years since his disappearance, they say they hope President Donald Trump can draw on his background as a dealmaker to bring him home.