Suddently, the story of the new Iranian hostage crisis is breaking into the public consciousness. Today, President Bush demanded that Iran release its four Iranian-American hostages, as reported by AP in the Jerusalem Post. One of the hostages, Haleh Esfandiari, a 67-year old grandmother who is a researcher based at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, is pictured at the right.
Interestingly, the President did not mention the one American hostage who is not of Iranian descent, Robert A. Levinson, a former FBI officer reportedly investigating tobacco smuggling on behalf of a private client. According to Michael Ledeen's NRO column, cited in the previous post, he disappeared after he flew to Iran’s Kish Island in March. It is possible that the United States does not have evidence that he is being held by the Iranian government.