Mohammad Javad Zarif

The Iranian foreign minister says Robert Levinson, the retired FBI agent who disappeared in 2007 on Iran’s Kish Island, is not incarcerated in Iran.

Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday: “We know that he is not incarcerated in Iran. If he is, he is not incarcerated by the government, and I believe the government runs a pretty much good control of the country.”

The Associated Press revealed on December 12 that Levinson had actually been on an unauthorized CIA intelligence-gathering mission when he disappeared on Kish Island.

The spokesman for Iran’s Mission to the UN, Alireza Miryousefi, has called on U.S. officials to explain Levinson’s mission in Iranian territory.

The U.S. State Department had consistently asserted that Levinson was in Kish as a private citizen carrying out private business.