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Iranian Foreign Minister claims no knowledge of missing FBI agent

Mohammad Javad Zarif claims that his government does not know of the whereabouts of Robert Levinson, who has been missing for seven years.

Robert levinson photosEnlarge
One of the five photos of missing FBI agent Robert Levinson. His family released the pictures on Tuesday. (Screengrab/Associated Press)

Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied any knowledge of the whereabouts missing former FBI agent Robert Levinson, according to an interview with CBS News — claiming that he has "no idea" where the sixty-three-year old might be. 

In an interview on the "Face the Nation" news program on CBS, Zarif said that he was certain Levinson "is not incarcerated in Iran," and added: "If he is, he is not incarcerated by the government. And I believe the government runs, pretty much, good control of the country.”

More from GlobalPost: US denies former FBI agent missing in Iran was working for CIA

Political pressure within the US is mounting to find out what happened to the father of seven, as US Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain claimed that he was disturbed by the secrecy of the incident until now. 

"The CIA did not tell the truth to the American Congress about Mr. Levinson," McCain said, in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union." program.

"If that's true, then you put this on top of things that our intelligence committees didn't know about other activities, which have been revealed by (NSA leaker Edward) Snowden -- maybe it means that we should be examining the oversight role of Congress over our different intelligence agencies," he added. 

US Secretary of State John F. Kerry denied McCain's claims, stating that the US is instead looking for "proof of life" from the agent in an interview aired on ABC News. 

“There hasn’t been progress in the sense that we don’t have him back. But to suggest that we have abandoned him or anybody has abandoned him is simply incorrect and not helpful,” Kerry said.

“The fact is, that I have personally raised the issue not only at the highest level that I have been involved with, but also through other intermediaries.

So we don’t have any meeting with anybody who has something to do with Iran or an approach to Iran where we don’t talk to them about how we might be able to find not just Levinson, but we have two other Americans that we’re deeply concerned about,” the politician added.

The US government has denied claims made by the Associated Press and the Washington Post that stated Levinson was working for the CIA at the time of his disappearance. 

Here is video of Kerry's ABC appearance: 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/131216/iranian-foreign-minister-claims-no-knowledge-whereabou