On the night of November 23, 2013, the President of the United States left an American pastor, Saeed Abedini, behind.
The "deal" with Iran announced tonight by President Obama, which allegedly halts "part" of Iran's nuclear program, allows Iran to enrich uranium and allows it to maintain a nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions and humanitarian relief.
It is outrageous that the Obama Administration commenced these negotiations and concluded them without the release of Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen. In fact, the Administration has just confirmed that he was not even part of the negotiations, stating that “The P5+1 talks focused exclusively on nuclear issues.”
For more than a year, Pastor Saeed has undergone torture at the hands of his Iranian captors, most recently being transferred to one of the most deadly prisons in the world. Yet instead of demanding the release of this innocent U.S. citizen as a precondition to any negotiations with Iran, the Obama Administration is relaxing sanctions and providing humanitarian relief, while getting nothing but more meaningless promises in return.
Iran has been in a state of armed conflict against the U.S. since 1979. It has taken American hostages, killed Americans directly through terror attacks, and has been a principal supplier of arms to our jihadist enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In other words, Iran has American blood on its hands.
Iran has been our enemy since the jihadist takeover in 1979, and it remains our enemy. It holds an American pastor -- torturing him in horrific prison conditions -- merely because it hates his Christian faith.
Pastor Saeed entered Iran with the permission of the Iranian government to help construct an orphanage, a mission to help the most vulnerable in Iranian society. Once there, he was arrested, tried without even being allowed to be present for his entire trial, convicted of nothing more than his Christian faith, and held in appalling conditions.
And we're giving Iran humanitarian relief?
It is difficult to comprehend the level of betrayal. We have made "deals" with tyrants before. One of former President Bill Clinton's gifts to the world was the 1994 "agreed framework" that provided U.S. aid in exchange for an alleged halt in North Korea's nuclear program. The result? North Korea is now not only a nuclear power but also a nuclear proliferator that has worked with Iran.
We have left Pastor Saeed behind in the vain hope that we can trust Iran.
It is a dark, cold night in America.