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US sees Iran behind hostage photos of ex-FBI agent

Posted: January 8, 2013 at 1:21 p.m.

This undated handout photo provided by the family of Robert Levinson, shows retired-FBI agent Robert Levinson. Levinson, 64, went missing on the Iranian island of Kish in March 2007. Levinson's family received these photographs of him in April 2011. U.S officials suspect the Iranians or its proxies are holding Levinson hostage.

— Two years after a hostage video and photographs of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson raised the possibility that the missing American was being held by terrorists, intelligence officials say Washington now sees the government of Iran behind the images.

The photos — showing Levinson’s hair wild and gray, his beard long and unkempt — are being made public for the first time. His family provided copies to the Associated Press.

The photos portray Levinson in an orange jumpsuit like those worn by detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. The family received them by e-mail in April 2011.

While Washington has publicly pressured Iran to release American prisoners, it has opted for a quieter diplomatic route in Levinson’s case. His wife, Christine, said she wants more public pressure on Iran.

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