Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is publicly holding American Pastor Saeed Abedini and the other wrongfully imprisoned Americans as hostages, demanding ransom for their freedom.
Yesterday, Rouhani told CNN:
“If the Americans take the appropriate steps and set [a number of Iranians in the United States who are imprisoned] free, certainly the right environment will be open and the right circumstances will be created for us to do everything within our power and our purview to bring about the swiftest freedom for the Americans held in Iran as well. . . .
If the Americans take the appropriate actions vis-a-vis Iranian citizens who are being imprisoned here, then the right atmosphere and environment will be created for reciprocal action perhaps.
This is an absurd and insulting demand, treating Pastor Saeed – who has committed no crime and is merely imprisoned because of his Christian faith – as a hostage for ransom.
Pastor Saeed’s wife Naghmeh emphatically responded:
My husband is not collateral. He is a father and a man who broke no law. Yet Iran is treating him like a pawn in a game of chess. President Rouhani's demand that America release 19 criminals in exchange for his consideration of releasing individuals like my husband, imprisoned solely for his faith, demonstrates that the Iran of today is no different than the Iran who took Americans hostage during the Iranian revolution.
The environment is ripe for Iran to demonstrate it is ready to re-enter the global market and international scene of diplomats; it is time to show its good will, to change its image from one of a pariah to a member of the global society who will protect fundamental rights.
As Iran’s president prepares to address the United Nation’s General Assembly in New York – on American soil – now is the time to garner goodwill on the world stage and release the wrongfully imprisoned Americans. It is time for the U.N. to directly engage and urge Iran to release these wrongfully imprisoned U.S. citizens and allow them to return home – especially Pastor Saeed.
Naghmeh explained the importance of this moment on Fox News this morning:
Our team, along with Naghmeh, is currently in New York, engaging with key world leaders and U.N. delegations to increase pressure on Iran, as Iran’s president is on U.S. soil – where Pastor Saeed belongs.
Over 1 million have signed our petition for Pastor Saeed’s freedom. Please continue building on this momentum as we aggressively fight for his freedom by adding your name today.
Deadly violence against Christians has been on the rise in Egypt. Finally, evil jihadists who waged a bloody campaign against Christians in Egypt are being brought to justice. We told you about horrific attacks in Egypt in the last few years that have resulted in the slaughter of innocent...
Fifteen-year-old Leah Sharibu is facing death at the hands of Nigeria’s brutal jihadist militia Boko Haram because she is a Christian. Leah Sharibu was one of 110 Nigerian girls we told you had been kidnapped by the vile jihadist group Boko Haram – the militant West African radical Islamic army...
American Pastor Andrew Brunson has just been released from wrongful detainment in Turkey. We can confirm that after more than two years of detainment based on his Christian faith, Pastor Andrew is preparing to leave Turkey to return home to the United States. At the ACLJ, we represent Pastor Andrew...
After years of delays, seven years and eleven months to the day after she was sentenced to death by hanging for her Christian faith, Christian mom Asia Bibi has finally had her appeal heard by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. A three-member panel of the Supreme Court of Pakistan consisting of Chief...