This week the Senate has been debating the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which would give Congress an opportunity to weigh in for or against any deal the Executive Branch reaches with Iran over its nuclear program. Among the numerous amendments that may potentially be considered by the Senate are some that would condition the success of an agreement on the release of U.S. citizens who have been imprisoned by Iran for years. NRB urged this week that the final legislation require the release and safe return of these Americans, including Pastor Saeed Abedini.
“Quite frankly, I am confounded that Pastor Saeed Abedini and other U.S citizens unjustly imprisoned by the Iranian regime have not already been set free,” said Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB.
In a January meeting in Idaho, President Obama told Pastor Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, that securing his freedom was a “top priority.” Unfortunately, this week White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest indicated the President would veto the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act if a requirement for the release of Americans Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, and Jason Rezaian were included.
Dr. Johnson continued, “At one time, the securing of Pastor Abedini’s release was a ‘top priority’ to the Obama Administration. Now it is subject to a presidential veto threat if included in this Iran bill. This is shocking.”
Dr. Johnson concluded by urging Senators to make sure the U.S. “does not leave these American citizens behind in its negotiations with Tehran.”
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: May 1, 2015