U.S. Imposes Sanctions Against Iran Over Abduction of Former FBI Agent

THE U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions against two Iranian officials on Monday in connection to the 2007 abduction of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, authorities said.

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The announcement targeted Mohammad Baseri and Ahmad Khazai, who are within the Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic of Iran (MOIS), officials said.

If the two Iranian officials have any “property and interests” that are “in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons,” they will be seized, according to the Treasury statement.

Monday’s action also opens the door for “secondary sanctions.” If those two Iranian officials have accounts or interest with other institutions that do business in the U.S., the Treasury Department could conceivably now take action against those banks, businesses or nations.

Officials in Iran could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday.

Earlier this year, Levinson’s family said it had “received information from” American officials that he had died in custody.

Levinson, who spent 22 years with the FBI, vanished on March 9, 2007, while on a business trip to Kish Island, a Persian Gulf resort island off the southern coast of Iran.

The U.S. government has said Levinson was there on his own, but years later confirmed that he was doing contract work for the CIA when he was last seen.

Iran has always maintained it wasn’t behind Levinson’s disappearance and had no idea where he was.

But his family, in April 2011, posted pictures it received anonymously of a bearded, disheveled Levinson who appeared to be wearing a jail-style orange jumpsuit.

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