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U.S. deal with Iran sacrificed imprisoned American pastor

The family of Pastor Saeed Abedini said in a recent interview that they are “devastated” that the Obama administration failed to secure Abedini’s release during recent negotiation talks with Iran, in which the Middle Eastern country agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for lighter economic sanctions. Abedini is an American pastor who has been imprisoned in Iran over the past year for his Christian faith.

Naghmeh Abedini, Pastor Saeed Abedini and children in an undated family photo. / aclj.org

Naghmeh Abedini, Pastor Saeed Abedini and children in an undated family photo. / aclj.org

“As a wife and a mom, it’s devastating,” Naghmeh Abedini, the pastor’s wife, told Fox News Radio. Naghmeh and her family saw these recent peace talks between Iran and the U.S. as a possible opportunity for Abedini to be released from his eight-year prison sentence. The pastor was sentenced in January 2013 under the charges of “planting house churches that are intended to undermine national security.” …

Naghmeh added to Fox News Radio that she now believes the U.S. has no leveraging power since making the nuclear program deal. “Iran has no incentive for them to release him. I don’t think we have any more leverage. We now have to consider other avenues and having other countries speak out because our country when we could have used our leverage chose to stay silent.” …

The American Center for Law and Justice said that the White House’s failure to secure Abedini’s release as a part of the weekend negotiations was “a betrayal” against the American pastor. “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,” Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ, said in a statement. “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.”


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