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State Department is Listening: Pastor Youcef Not Forgotten

Yesterday afternoon, a team of ACLJ attorneys met with officials from the U.S. Department of State to discuss the current situation in Iran and specifically our involvement in Pastor Nadarkhani’s case. This meeting was prompted by the State Department as a result of our relentless efforts to ensure that the diplomatic arm of the U.S. government was doing all it could to see that Pastor Youcef is released unconditionally. After repeated letters, phone calls, and a petition garnering nearly 200,000 signatures from concerned Americans to government officials, we are confident you have been heard.

In a speech at the U.S. Institute for Peace, Wednesday, the U.S. State Department’s ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom called for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s release. Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook’s prepared remarks, as released by the U.S. State Department, expressed her concern for the rights of the religious minorities in Iran. “I want to echo President Obama’s and Secretary Clinton’s - and repeat my own - condemnation of his conviction and our calls on Iranian authorities to release Pastor Nadarkhani immediately,” Ambassador Johnson Cook said. “I urge all of you to do the same,” she added.

We applaud Ambassador Johnson Cook for continuing to keep Pastor Youcef’s case at the forefront of her efforts, and are confident from our meeting that Pastor Youcef’s plight will not be forgotten.

Please continue to pray as we await the final decision from Iran.

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