Yesterday, I testified alongside Pastor Saeed Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, about her husband’s worsening plight.
We laid out the facts about how he is being tortured in Iran. But we also laid out the facts about how the Obama Administration has betrayed him, has abandoned him in Iran.
The Obama Administration and the U.S. State Department had a historic opportunity to demand Pastor Saeed’s release, along with that of all wrongly detained Americans in Iran, as a precondition to the nuclear negotiations.
As Dr. Katrins Lantos Sweet, Vice Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, testified, this would have been an easy ask.
Yet, the Obama Administration intentionally chose not to even ask for his release as a precondition to the negotiations, leaving Pastor Saeed behind – malnourished, in increasing pain, and without medication.
I was disappointed that the Ranking Member at the hearing, Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL), tried to cover for the ineptitude of this Administration’s public action, or lack thereof, for this persecuted pastor, putting partisan politics ahead of bringing this U.S. citizen home.
I and Representative Chris Smith, the Chairman of this hearing, explained how the Administration has failed its own citizen, even reminding people that the first thing the State Department told Pastor Saeed’s wife when his husband was wrongfully imprisoned was that nothing could be done about it.
Yet, Representative Deutch claimed that laying the facts on the table and asking our government to do more was exhibiting some “agenda.”
As Pastor Saeed’s wife unequivocally stated, “I don’t have an agenda. I’m not a political person. I’m a mom. I’m a wife. . . . I very much feel abandoned. I feel my husband has been abandoned.”
We must never abandon Pastor Saeed. Watch the video above of key parts of this hearing and sign the petition to stand with Pastor Saeed.
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