US official: No Iran deal without freeing detained US citizens

No agreement should ever be struck with Iran without its freeing all unjustly detained US citizens, a senior US official said on Monday as Washington blacklisted two Iranian officials that it accused of involvement in the abduction and probably death while in captivity of former US FBI agent Robert Levinson.

A second US official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, said the US believed senior Iranian officials had sanctioned the abduction of Levinson, who went missing on Iran’s Kish Island in the Gulf in March 2007. This official said he hoped the naming of the two Iranian officials, who were separately identified by the US Treasury Department, would lead to further information about Levinson’s fate.

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