We’ll ask about that in a minute.
What about Robert Levinson? This is the former FBI agent. He’s been missing in Iran for three — over three years, hasn’t been heard from. First, can you tell us, is he alive? Is he OK?
AHMADINEJAD (through translator): I think we should ask that question from the FBI.
KING: But he’s in your country —
AHMADINEJAD (through translator): How would I know? How am I supposed to know? There are many individuals, many people who come to our country and then leave.
KING: So you have no idea where he is?
AHMADINEJAD (through translator): He came and he left. As usual. No.
KING: His family says — his family that they were promised a full report on his disappearance from your government and they have never heard anything.
AHMADINEJAD (through translator): We never made that promise. We agreed to have a joint information and intelligence committee with the U.S. government to gather information about his whereabouts, on his whereabouts, and we have expressed hope that this committee will soon be held and we express our preparedness to be part of the committee.
Now if the FBI were to give more information about the purpose of this trip and what information he had and where his other destinations were, we might be able to assist further in the case.
KING: But you have no idea where he is?
AHMADINEJAD (through translator): Do you have any information? I’m like you, I have no idea what the FBI programs are. I don’t know what the FBI does around the world.
KING: We talked with — well, we talked with his wife yesterday, Christine, Mrs. Levinson. She asked that you give her a time and date for officials to meet with the FBI and share information.
In other words, she is saying the FBI is willing to sit down with your people. Can you give her a time and date?
AHMADINEJAD (through translator): Yes, I accept and agree with that. It saddens us when people travel, run into problems, disappear. It’s awful.
I think that if all intelligence organizations work more transparently and based on more humanitarian principles, these problems would not arise, but I would recommend that that intelligence committee be held jointly so that the representatives of Iran and the United States can sit together and help trace his whereabouts.
KING: You know, his daughter is getting married Saturday.
AHMADINEJAD (through translator): I congratulate her on her marriage.
KING: It will be nice if her father were there —
AHMADINEJAD (through translator): And I sympathize with her. Definitely, it would have been very good. I wish that it can happen. I think the FBI should be more active in this case and to find their agent.
KING: You know, Mr. President, if it were your children — if one of your children crossed the border of another country and were being held, you would be very concerned and you would press the issue, would you not?
AHMADINEJAD (through translator): If my child violates a law, justice must be served. Because law ensures security. And stability. And laws must be observed because if they are to be violated, there shall be no security.
KING: We’ll be right back with more. Don’t go away.