49 Members of House and Senate Urge State Department Action on Saeed’s Behalf
37 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 12 U.S. Senators sent letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on behalf of Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith.
We are grateful to these 49 Members of Congress who are willing to take a stand, with thousands of other Americans, in calling for Pastor Saeed’s release from “wrongful” imprisonment in Iran.
The bipartisan House letter, led by Representative Robert Aderholt (AL-04), urged Secretary Clinton to demand Pastor Saeed's immediate and unconditional release, asking her to “leave no stone unturned” in efforts to bring Pastor Saeed to safety.
The House letter concluded:
We are both mindful of the fact that the United States does not have diplomatic relations with Iran and grateful for your faithful condemnation of Iran’s human rights record. However, we believe there is still a great deal of good that the State Department can and should do on behalf of Mr. Abedini, one of our own citizens. We respectfully request that you leave no stone unturned in your efforts to bring Mr. Abedini home to his family. We believe that strong and sustained advocacy from the State Department would do much to rally the voice of the world against this wrongful detainment. As such, we stand ready to join with you in demanding Mr. Abedini’s full, immediate, and unconditional exoneration and release.
Likewise, the Senate letter, led by Senator Jim Risch (ID), demanded the State Department’s “swift engagement with the international community to advocate for his release before his trial date on January 21st.”
The Senate letter concluded:
We are grateful for your consistent condemnation of the Iranian regime’s actions that violate religious freedoms and we believe your voice can motivate countries and international organizations that have diplomatic relations with Iran to action. Although the United States does not have diplomatic relations with Iran, we strongly encourage the State Department to exhaust all efforts to secure Mr. Abedini’s prompt return. Saeed’s efforts to provide humanitarian relief and exercise fundamental human rights should be applauded not condemned. We should not stand idly by while the Iranian regime arbitrarily persecutes a U.S. citizen who has committed no crime.
We believe these strong statements from members of the House and Senate are just the first of numerous political and governmental leaders to take a stand for this persecuted pastor, and we join them in calling for the State Department to use all available means to secure Pastor Saeed’s freedom.
You can add your name to the over 100,000 Americans demanding Pastor Saeed’s release by signing the ACLJ’s petition to save Saeed today.
The ACLJ would like to personally thank each of the following Members of Congress for their dedication to religious freedom and commitment to defending this American citizen from a sham trial in Iran for his religious beliefs.
Senator Jim Risch (ID)
Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH)
Senator Roy Blunt (MO)
Senator John Boozman (MT)
Senator Mike Crapo (ID)
Senator Ted Cruz (TX)
Senator James Inhofe (OK)
Senator Mike Johanns (NE)
Senator Mark Kirk (IL)
Senator Jerry Moran (KS)
Senator Rand Paul (KY)
Senator Marco Rubio (FL)
Representative Robert Aderholt (AL)
Representative Spencer Bachus (AL)
Representative Lou Barletta (PA)
Representative Gus Bilirakis (FL)
Representative Marsha Blackburn (TN)
Representative Steve Daines (MT)
Representative Jeff Duncan (SC)
Representative John Fleming (LA)
Representative Bill Flores (TX)
Representative Randy Forbes (VA)
Representative Trent Franks (AZ)
Representative Louie Gohmert (TX)
Representative Trey Gowdy (SC)
Representative Vicky Hartzler (MO)
Representative Tim Huelskamp (KS)
Representative Randy Hultgren (IL)
Representative Bill Johnson (OH)
Representative Mike Kelly (PA)
Representative Steve King (IA)
Representative Adam Kinzinger (IL)
Representative Raul Labrador (ID)
Representative Doug Lamborn (CO)
Representative James Lankford (OK)
Representative Mike McIntyre (NC)
Representative Markwayne Mullin (OK)
Representative Alan Nunnelee (MS)
Representative Joe Pitts (PA)
Representative Ted Poe (TX)
Representative Mike Pompeo (KS)
Representative Mike Rogers (AL)
Representative Peter Roskam (IL)
Representative Steve Scalise (LA)
Representative Mike Simpson (ID)
Representative Steve Stockman (TX)
Representative Randy Weber (TX)
Representative Lynn Westmoreland (GA)
Representative Frank Wolf (VA)