debkafile’s exclusive Kurdish intelligence sources report: Iran has released former FBI agent Robert Levinson, 59, held since March 11
Last seen on the Iranian resort island of Kish, where he was said to be working on a film, Levinson has crossed from Iran into Iraqi Kurdistan, where American representatives awaited him.
The promise to release him was conveyed, according to our sources, by the head of Iran’s national security council, Ali Larijani, during a sudden visit to Baghdad on April 29, when he met secretly with the US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker. The two officials discussed reciprocal US-Iranian gestures to pave the way for an agreed agenda at the international conference on Iraq’s security opening at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh May 3.
Sources in Tehran report that US forces in Iraq will counter Levinson’s release by setting free one or two of the five Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers they captured in Irbil last January. The conference, summoned to approve steps that promote Iraqi stability and development, will provide a platform for high-level exchanges among US, Iranian and Syrian delegates. US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who has already arrived at the Red Sea resort, is expecting to hold direct talks with Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki.