Iran owes $1.4B over ex-FBI agent presumed dead
Last Thursday, a US judge ruled that Iran should pay $1.45 billion to the family of a former FBI agent who was allegedly kidnapped by the Islamic Republic while on a CIA mission to an Iranian island. The trip occurred in 2007, and the agent, Robert Levinson, is believed to have died in the Iranian government’s custody. The Iranian government denies this accusation, however, officials have offered contradictory accounts as to what happened to Levinson after his capture and subsequent rescue on Kish Island.
Tensions are currently high between the US and Iran due to pressure over Tehran’s alleged nuclear program. Relations between the two countries have been dim, but stable since the aftermath of the 1979 US Embassy hostage crisis in Tehran. America still has control over billions of dollars in frozen Iranian assets, and it is unclear as to whether Iran will be able to obtain access to this money to pay Levinson’s family. Iran offered no defense to the case provided by the US District Court, and have not responded to comment requests.