The wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini has written an open letter to President Barack Obama urging the release of her husband, an American citizen imprisoned for his faith in Iran. Pastor Abedini was arrested by Iranian authorities in September 2012 for allegedly being a threat to Iran’s national security. He has been subjected to severe interrogations, periods of solitary confinement, and physical assault.
In a January meeting in Idaho, President Obama told Naghmeh Abedini that securing Pastor Abedini’s freedom was a “top priority.” Mrs. Abedini this week wrote:
Mr. President, as the US continues its negotiations with Iran, will you please demand the immediate release of Jason Rezaian, Amir Hekmati, Robert Levinson, and my husband, Pastor Saeed Abedini – this direct ask needs to be priority front and center not pushed to the sidelines. These Americans deserve to be freed and returned to their families immediately.
Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, echoed this call in a FOX News article. He stated, “Secretary of State Kerry should tell Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif that there will be no final agreement of any kind until the Americans are freed and returned to their families. It really needs to be that simple and direct.”
Notably, the U.S. Senate will be debating legislation next week that would require congressional review of any nuclear deal brokered between the U.S. and Iran.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: April 24, 2015