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Published: Saturday December 14, 2013 MYT 4:45:55 AM
Updated: Saturday December 14, 2013 MYT 4:46:47 AM

American missing in Iran was probing possible graft -family lawyer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An American with links to the Central Intelligence Agency was investigating possible high-level corruption in Iran at the time he went missing in the country in 2007, a lawyer for his family confirmed on Friday.

Former FBI agent Robert Levinson visited Kish Island in the Gulf in pursuit of information about suspicions that diverted Iranian petroleum funds were being laundered through Canada, said the lawyer, David McGee.

The Associated Press and The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Levinson was not a private citizen on a business trip to Iran as the U.S. government has said but working for a rogue CIA operation when he disappeared.

McGee told Reuters that disclosing further details of what Levinson was doing in Iran could still increase the risk for him, assuming he is still alive.

"There are benefits and there are risks," he said. "The negative is additional risk to Bob. The positive is that the family can step up pressure on the United States government" to redouble efforts to locate Levinson, McGee said.


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