U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement today asking Iran to help American Pastor Saeed Abedini “return” to his family.
This is the second time Secretary Kerry has publicly urged Saeed’s release and comes amid a broader request to help two other U.S. citizens return home to their families.
The United States respectfully asks the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to work cooperatively with us in our efforts to help U.S. citizens Robert Levinson, Amir Hekmati, and Saeed Abedini to return to their families after lengthy detentions.
. . . .
The United States is also deeply concerned about the fate of dual U.S. citizen . . . Saeed Abedini. . . . On September 26, Mr. Abedini will have spent a year in detention in Iran. He was sentenced to eight years in prison on charges related to his religious beliefs.
President Rouhani has shared in his speeches and interviews over the past few months his hope and vision to improve the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s relationship with the world.
We urge the Iranian Government to release Mr. Hekmati and Mr. Abedini and to help us locate Mr. Levinson so that they may be reunited with their families as safely and as soon as possible.
These men belong at home with those who love them and miss them.
We welcome this renewed effort on the part of Secretary Kerry and the State Department ahead of the one-year anniversary of Pastor Saeed’s illegal imprisonment.
Secretary Kerry said it exactly right: “These men belong at home with those who love them and miss them.”
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