One would think that in some way, his release might've been on the bargaining table.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which is working to secure the release of American Pastor Saeed Abedini from an Iranian prison, said today the Obama Administration betrayed American Pastor Saeed Abedini by reaching a deal with Iran that includes easing sanctions and providing humanitarian relief – a deal that leaves a U.S. citizen behind, imprisoned because of his faith.
"President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry turned their backs on a U.S. citizen by refusing to secure his freedom before reaching an agreement with Iran," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "It is outrageous and a betrayal of American Pastor Saeed Abedini who has spent more than a year in an Iranian prison simply because of his Christian faith. The Obama Administration has left Pastor Saeed behind. And by failing to secure his release as a precondition to any negotiations, the Obama Administration sends a troubling message to the Iranian government that Americans are expendable."
The ACLJ sent a letter to Secretary Kerry urging him to act and noted that "the failure to secure the release and return of Mr. Abedini and the other Americans would be reprehensible."
Imprisoned for more than a year simply because of his Christian faith, Pastor Saeed faces life-threatening conditions in one of Iran's most dangerous prisons.
Last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution calling for the release of this U.S. citizen and key members of the European Parliament wrote a letter raising Pastor Saeed's case.
I pray this ends well for this Pastor and his family.