Today, Monday, the US Treasury announced the imposition of sanctions against the two officials in the Iranian Ministry of Security and Intelligence, Ahmad Khazai and Muhammad Basiri, in order to increase pressure on Tehran as President Donald Trump's term approaches.
The US Department said that these two officials were involved in the kidnapping of former FBI agent Bob Levinson in 2007 in Kish Island, where it believes he was kidnapped in Iran and died in custody.
She explained that she had blacklisted Khuzaie and Basiri, who are associated with the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin described the kidnapping of Agent Levinson as a shameful example of the Iranian regime's willingness to commit unfair acts.
He added that his country will always give priority to the safety and security of the American people, and will continue to pursue those who played a role in Levinson's arrest and possible death.
For his part, Director of the US Federal Police Christopher Ray said in a statement, "The Iranian government pledged to provide its assistance to return Levinson, but it did not do so at all. The truth is that elements of the Iranian intelligence services, and with the approval of senior officials, are involved in the kidnapping and arrest of Bob."
On the other hand, a senior US official told reporters, "The government has concluded that all the evidence available to us proves that it seems that Bob died during his arrest."
Washington has allocated a financial reward to whoever takes Levinson's place ... and the picture is in an Afghani area on the Iranian (European) borders.
Information and demands
According to statements by US officials to Reuters, the public identification of Khazaee and Basiri would lead to more information about Levinson.
For his part, a third US official said today, Monday, that no agreement should be concluded with Iran without the release of all citizens unjustly detained there.
And last March, after a mystery surrounding the case for 13 years, President Trump hinted that Levinson was likely dead.
His family confirmed at the time that officials told them that he "died during his detention by the Iranian authorities."
Washington has consistently maintained that Levinson was not working for the government when he lost track of him in March 2017 on Kish Island in the Gulf.
He retired from the FBI about 10 years ago.
But the "Washington Post" newspaper reported that he was working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and preparing to meet with an informant about the Iranian nuclear program.