Members of Congress Take Crucial Steps in Elevating Pastor Saeed’s Case


Matthew Clark

November 21, 2013

2 min read

Middle East



Members of Congress continue pressing efforts to increase international pressure on Iran to release American Pastor Saeed Abedini who is imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously approved H. Res. 147, calling for the release of Pastor Saeed, allowing it to proceed on to a full vote of the U.S. House of Representatives.

This is an important step forward in increasing pressure on Iran.  The resolution, as amended, provides a strong call for Pastor Saeed’s release and an urgent call for the U.S. government to aggressively engage this issue to bring Pastor Saeed home.

H. Res. 147 states, in part:

That the House of Representatives—
(1) condemns the Government of Iran for its persecution of religious minorities, including Saeed Abedini;
(2) calls on the Government of Iran to comply with its international legal obligations and release Saeed Abedini to the United States; and
(3) calls on the United States Government to work aggressively for the quick release of Saeed Abedini by designating additional Iranian officials, as appropriate, for human rights abuses pursuant to section 105 of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010.

Notably Representative Ed Royce (CA-37), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, explained the importance of this significant resolution and urged its quick passage.

We are encouraged by the progress of this resolution in the House and are hopeful that it will be quickly passed.

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a similar bipartisan resolution last week.

Senator Ted Cruz (TX) took the opportunity this week to again raise Pastor Saeed’s case to national prominence as he discussed pressing issues facing our nation on CNN. 

He eloquently advocated why, during significant negotiations with Iran, Pastor Saeed must be a key part of those talks, and ultimately, that Iran must release this imprisoned pastor.

We know that public pressure on Iran is working.  Iranian media is even discussing a social media campaign initiated by the ACLJ directly urging Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minster Javad Zarif to release Pastor Saeed.  Thousands around the world took to Twitter yesterday calling for his release.

To join this growing social media effort, sign the petition for Pastor Saeed’s release, and write President Rouhani a letter go to