Broward News

For Coral Springs Family, Every Liberation of Prisoner by Iran Is Bittersweet

Like all Americans, the Levinson family of Coral Springs is surely happy to hear of the release by Iranian authorities of Sarah Shourd, who was among three American hikers taken prisoner on espionage charges more than a year ago after they allegedly wandered into Iran.


But as the Washington Post points out, it's been three and a half years since another American, Robert Levinson, vanished from Iran's Kish Island.

In that time, the corrupt Iranian regime hasn't given the Levinson family the most basic courtesy of saying whether Levinson is in their custody or not.

A cruel and paranoid dictatorship hostile to the U.S., it goes without saying that Iran's government suspects that any American on its soil is there to spy. But that allegation is fairly ludicrous in the case of Shourd and the two other hikers who were exploring largely uninhabited regions of Iran, accidentally. It's doubtful Iran really believed those hikers were spies; rather, they made valuable political pawns in the regime's campaign to antagonize the U.S.

Levinson, on the other hand, was an FBI agent before he retired to become a private investigator, which may explain why Iran has treated him differently from the American hikers and journalists who have been seized, then released, during the same period that Levinson has remained missing.

The Levinson family keeps a website through which it hopes to receive tips about his whereabouts. Sarah Levinson will be married in two weeks, but her father won't be there to walk her down the aisle.

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Thomas Francis