On Saturday, it was revealed that four Americans were being released by Iran as part of a prisoner swap deal with the U.S. Three of those Americans were well-known — Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, former Marine Amir Hekmati and Christian pastor Saeed Abedini. All three stories of their imprisonment were international news, but the fourth man who was released is a total mystery. His name is reportedly Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari. And no one knows why he was in Iran in the first place or why he was imprisoned. His name doesn’t appear in any news articles until Saturday. Strange to say the least.
Amazing Nosratollah Khosravi's imprisonment in Iran appears to have never been reported.
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) January 16, 2016
It will be interesting if any photos and information surface, or any family members come forward.
A fifth American was released as well – a recently detained student named Matthew Trevithick. However, he was released separately – not as part of the swap. As part of the deal, Iran agreed to release Rezaian, Hekmati, Abedini and Khosravi-Roodsari in exchange for clemency for seven Iranian citizens indicted or imprisoned in the United States for sanctions violations.
As the families of the men released celebrated the news, one family is still “devasted” as their loved one — Bob Levinson — was not part of the swap.
Former FBI agent Robert Levinson "left behind" in Iranian prisoner release, family says: https://t.co/pbNFTIGFVL pic.twitter.com/MvbX6v9E6N
— ABC News (@ABC) January 16, 2016
Robert Levinson’s family says that his release was part of the discussion with Iran that eventually freed the four Americans, but the Iranians denied knowing where Levinson was. The now 67-year-old disappeared back in 2007 off Iran’s Kish Island. He had worked for the FBI for more than two decades before retiring. His family says that he was working for the CIA at the time of his disappearance as a freelance “spy,” allegedly spying on Iran’s nuclear program and on the terror group Hezbollah.
Though Iran denies holding Levinson, some U.S. officials in the past have reportedly said they think Iran at least knows where he is. If Iran is detaining him, why wasn’t he in the swap? Is he dead?
Hopefully, for his family’s sake, Levinson will come home soon. At least one publication has a theory that he may already be on his way. Newsfoxes says that the mystery prisoner — Khosravi-Roodsari — may actually BE Levinson. You can read their conspiracy theory here.