No Iran Deal Without Freeing Detained U.S. Citizens, U.S. Official Says

FILE PHOTO:A member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard stands next to a picture of an American hostage in front of the former U.S. embassy during a gathering to mark the anniversary of its seizure in Tehran, 2021. REUTERS./

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – No agreement should ever be struck with Iran without its freeing all unjustly detained U.S. citizens, a senior U.S. 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 U.S. FBI agent Robert Levinson.

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

(Reporting By Arshad Mohammed and Humeyra Pamuk Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball)

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