CALLING ON THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAN TO FULFILL REPEATED PROMISES OF ASSISTANCE IN THE CASE OF ROBERT LEVINSON
(Senate - April 09, 2018)

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[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 56 (Monday, April 9, 2018)]
[Pages S2015-S2016]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




   CALLING ON THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAN TO FULFILL REPEATED PROMISES OF 
               ASSISTANCE IN THE CASE OF ROBERT LEVINSON

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to the consideration of Calendar No. 355, S. Res. 85.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 85) calling on the Government of Iran 
     to fulfill repeated promises of assistance in the case of 
     Robert Levinson, the longest held United States civilian in 
     our Nation's history.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the 
resolution, which had been reported from the Committee on Foreign 
Relations, with an amendment and an amendment to the preamble, as 
follows:
  (The part of the resolution intended to be stricken is shown in 
boldface brackets and the part of the resolution intended to be 
inserted is shown in italic.)
  (Strike the preamble and insert the part printed in italic.)

       Whereas United States citizen Robert Levinson is a retired 
     agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a 
     resident of Coral Springs, Florida, the husband of Christine 
     Levinson, father of their seven children, and grandfather of 
     their six grandchildren;
       Whereas Robert Levinson traveled from Dubai, United Arab 
     Emirates, to Kish Island, Iran, on March 8, 2007;
       Whereas, after traveling to Kish Island and checking into 
     the Hotel Maryam, Robert Levinson disappeared on March 9, 
     2007;
       Whereas, in December 2007, Robert Levinson's wife, 
     Christine, traveled to Kish Island to retrace Mr. Levinson's 
     steps and met with officials of the Government of Iran who 
     pledged to help in the investigation;
       Whereas for 10 years, the United States Government has 
     continually pressed the Government of Iran to provide any 
     information on the whereabouts of Robert Levinson and to help 
     ensure his prompt and safe return to his family;
       Whereas officials of the Government of Iran promised their 
     continued assistance to the relatives of Robert Levinson 
     during the visit of the family to the Islamic Republic of 
     Iran in December 2007;
       Whereas, in November 2010, the Levinson family received a 
     video of Mr. Levinson in captivity, representing the first 
     proof of life since his disappearance and providing some 
     initial indications that he was being held somewhere in 
     southwest Asia;
       Whereas, in April 2011, the Levinson family received a 
     series of pictures of Mr. Levinson, which provided further 
     indications that he was being held somewhere in southwest 
     Asia;
       Whereas Secretary of State John Kerry stated on August 28, 
     2013, ``The United States respectfully asks the Government of 
     the Islamic Republic of Iran to work cooperatively with us in 
     our efforts to help U.S. citizen Robert Levinson.'';
       Whereas, on September 28, 2013, during the first direct 
     phone conversation between the heads of governments of the 
     United States and Iran since 1979, President Barack Obama 
     raised the case of Robert Levinson to President of Iran 
     Hassan Rouhani and urged the President of Iran to help locate 
     Mr. Levinson and reunite him with his family;
       Whereas, on August 29, 2014, Secretary of State Kerry again 
     stated that the United States ``respectfully request[s] the 
     Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran work cooperatively 
     with us to find Mr. Levinson and bring him home'';
       Whereas, on January 16, 2016, the Government of Iran 
     released five United States citizens detained in Iran;
       Whereas, on January 17, 2016, President Obama stated that 
     ``even as we rejoice in the safe return of others, we will 
     never forget about Bob,'' referring to Robert Levinson, and 
     that ``each and every day but especially today our hearts are 
     with the Levinson family and we will never rest until their 
     family is whole again'';
       Whereas, on January 19, 2016, White House Press Secretary 
     Josh Earnest stated that the United States Government had 
     ``secured a commitment from the Iranians to use the channel 
     that has now been opened to secure the release of those 
     individuals that we know were being held by Iran ... to try 
     and gather information about Mr. Levinson's possible 
     whereabouts'';
       Whereas the Government of Iran's most recent commitment to 
     assist in locating and returning Bob Levinson has not yielded 
     any meaningful results;
       Whereas, on November 23, 2016, the United Nations Working 
     Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) adopted Opinion No. 50/
     2016, concerning Robert Levinson in which the UNWGAD found 
     Iran responsible for the arbitrary detention of Mr. Levinson;
       Whereas, on November 26, 2013, Mr. Levinson became the 
     longest held United States civilian in our Nation's history; 
     and
       Whereas the Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to 
     offer up to a $5,000,000 reward for information leading to 
     Mr. Levinson's safe return: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) recognizes that March 9, 2017, [marks] marked 10 years 
     since the disappearance of Robert Levinson from Kish Island, 
     Iran;
       (2) recognizes that Robert Levinson is the longest held 
     United States civilian in our Nation's history;
       (3) notes that repeated pledges by officials of the 
     Government of Iran to provide their Government's assistance 
     in the case of Robert Levinson have not led to any meaningful 
     progress in locating or returning Robert Levinson;
       (4) urges the Government of Iran to take meaningful steps 
     towards fulfilling its repeated promises to assist in 
     locating and returning Robert Levinson, including immediately 
     providing all available information from all entities of the 
     Government of Iran regarding the disappearance of Robert 
     Levinson to the United States Government;
       (5) urges the President and the allies of the United States 
     to continue to press the Government of Iran at every 
     opportunity to locate and return Robert Levinson, 
     notwithstanding ongoing and serious disagreements the United 
     States Government has with the Government of Iran on a broad 
     array of issues, including Iran's ballistic missile program, 
     sponsorship of international terrorism, and human rights 
     abuses;
       (6) notes that in addition to these other serious issues, 
     further delay in locating and returning Robert Levinson 
     remains a significant obstacle to improving United States-
     Iran relations; and
       (7) expresses sympathy to the family of Robert Levinson for 
     their anguish and expresses hope that their ordeal can be 
     brought to an end in the near future.

  Mr. McCONNELL. I ask unanimous consent that the committee-reported 
amendment be agreed to, the resolution, as amended, be agreed to, the 
committee-reported amendment to the preamble be agreed to, the 
preamble, as amended, be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be 
considered made and laid upon the table.

[[Page S2016]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The committee-reported amendment was agreed to.
  The resolution (S. Res. 85), as amended, was agreed to.
  The committee-reported amendment to the preamble in the nature of a 
substitute was agreed to.
  The preamble, as amended, was agreed to.
  The resolution, as amended, with its preamble, as amended, reads as 
follows:

                               S. Res. 85

       Whereas United States citizen Robert Levinson is a retired 
     agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a 
     resident of Coral Springs, Florida, the husband of Christine 
     Levinson, father of their seven children, and grandfather of 
     their six grandchildren;
       Whereas Robert Levinson traveled from Dubai, United Arab 
     Emirates, to Kish Island, Iran, on March 8, 2007;
       Whereas after traveling to Kish Island and checking into 
     the Hotel Maryam, Robert Levinson disappeared on March 9, 
     2007;
       Whereas in December 2007, Robert Levinson's wife, 
     Christine, traveled to Kish Island to retrace Mr. Levinson's 
     steps and met with officials of the Government of Iran who 
     pledged to help in the investigation;
       Whereas for 10 years, the United States Government has 
     continually pressed the Government of Iran to provide any 
     information on the whereabouts of Robert Levinson and to help 
     ensure his prompt and safe return to his family;
       Whereas officials of the Government of Iran promised their 
     continued assistance to the relatives of Robert Levinson 
     during the visit of the family to the Islamic Republic of 
     Iran in December 2007;
       Whereas in November 2010, the Levinson family received a 
     video of Mr. Levinson in captivity, representing the first 
     proof of life since his disappearance and providing some 
     initial indications that he was being held somewhere in 
     southwest Asia;
       Whereas in April 2011, the Levinson family received a 
     series of pictures of Mr. Levinson, which provided further 
     indications that he was being held somewhere in southwest 
     Asia;
       Whereas Secretary of State John Kerry stated on August 28, 
     2013, ``The United States respectfully asks the Government of 
     the Islamic Republic of Iran to work cooperatively with us in 
     our efforts to help U.S. citizen Robert Levinson.'';
       Whereas, on September 28, 2013, during the first direct 
     phone conversation between the heads of governments of the 
     United States and Iran since 1979, President Barack Obama 
     raised the case of Robert Levinson to President of Iran 
     Hassan Rouhani and urged the President of Iran to help locate 
     Mr. Levinson and reunite him with his family;
       Whereas, on August 29, 2014, Secretary of State Kerry again 
     stated that the United States ``respectfully request[s] the 
     Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran work cooperatively 
     with us to find Mr. Levinson and bring him home'';
       Whereas, on January 16, 2016, the Government of Iran 
     released five United States citizens detained in Iran;
       Whereas, on January 17, 2016, President Obama stated that 
     ``even as we rejoice in the safe return of others, we will 
     never forget about Bob,'' referring to Robert Levinson, and 
     that ``each and every day but especially today our hearts are 
     with the Levinson family and we will never rest until their 
     family is whole again'';
       Whereas, on January 19, 2016, White House Press Secretary 
     Josh Earnest stated that the United States Government had 
     ``secured a commitment from the Iranians to use the channel 
     that has now been opened to secure the release of those 
     individuals that we know were being held by Iran . . . to try 
     and gather information about Mr. Levinson's possible 
     whereabouts'';
       Whereas the Government of Iran's most recent commitment to 
     assist in locating and returning Bob Levinson has not yielded 
     any meaningful results;
       Whereas, on November 23, 2016, the United Nations Working 
     Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) adopted Opinion No. 50/
     2016, concerning Robert Levinson in which the UNWGAD found 
     Iran responsible for the arbitrary detention of Mr. Levinson;
       Whereas, on November 26, 2013, Mr. Levinson became the 
     longest held United States civilian in our Nation's history; 
     and
       Whereas the Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to 
     offer up to a $5,000,000 reward for information leading to 
     Mr. Levinson's safe return: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) recognizes that March 9, 2017, marked 10 years since 
     the disappearance of Robert Levinson from Kish Island, Iran;
       (2) recognizes that Robert Levinson is the longest held 
     United States civilian in our Nation's history;
       (3) notes that repeated pledges by officials of the 
     Government of Iran to provide their Government's assistance 
     in the case of Robert Levinson have not led to any meaningful 
     progress in locating or returning Robert Levinson;
       (4) urges the Government of Iran to take meaningful steps 
     towards fulfilling its repeated promises to assist in 
     locating and returning Robert Levinson, including immediately 
     providing all available information from all entities of the 
     Government of Iran regarding the disappearance of Robert 
     Levinson to the United States Government;
       (5) urges the President and the allies of the United States 
     to continue to press the Government of Iran at every 
     opportunity to locate and return Robert Levinson, 
     notwithstanding ongoing and serious disagreements the United 
     States Government has with the Government of Iran on a broad 
     array of issues, including Iran's ballistic missile program, 
     sponsorship of international terrorism, and human rights 
     abuses;
       (6) notes that in addition to these other serious issues, 
     further delay in locating and returning Robert Levinson 
     remains a significant obstacle to improving United States-
     Iran relations; and
       (7) expresses sympathy to the family of Robert Levinson for 
     their anguish and expresses hope that their ordeal can be 
     brought to an end in the near future.

                          ____________________