President Obama today raised the imprisonment of American Pastor Saeed Abedini at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. and called on Iran to release him so he can return to his family.
We are extremely pleased that President Obama publicly recognized Pastor Saeed's plight. With President Obama highlighting this tragic case of religious persecution, we're hopeful that this new level of engagement by our government - President Obama publicly calling on Iran to release Pastor Saeed - will bring even more attention to the unjust treatment of a U.S. citizen who has been imprisoned for more than a year simply because of his Christian faith. We're grateful for President Obama's remarks and call on Iran to release Pastor Saeed so that he can return to his family in Idaho.
President Obama's remarks from the National Prayer Breakfast included a direct appeal regarding Pastor Saeed:
"We pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini. He's been held in Iran for more than 18 months - sentenced to eight years in prison on charges relating to his Christian beliefs. And as we continue to work for his freedom today, again, we call on the Iranian government to release Pastor Abedini so he can return to the loving arms of his wife and children in Idaho."
President Obama raised the issue of Pastor Saeed in a private phone call with Iran's President Rouhani last fall but today's comments mark the first time that President Obama has publicly addressed Pastor Saeed's plight.
The American Center for Law & Justice represents Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh, and their two young children who reside in Idaho. The ACLJ continues to work in this country and abroad to secure the freedom of Pastor Saeed. You can learn more about his case here.