Should We Be Negotiating With Iran While Saeed Abedini Remains In Prison?

Saeed Abedini
Saeed Abedini

American Pastor Saeed Abedini is facing renewed torment and hostility suffering in Iran for his Christian faith. He hears fellow prisoners being executed as he tries to sleep. Iranian authorities refuse to allow him the vital medical treatment he desperately needs. The prison guards threaten and torment him.

There is already a framework for a nuclear agreement and U.S. and Iranian negotiators are about to sit down again to begin finalizing the details, but Pastor Saeed is still not home and the situation is getting worse. Fox News has an updated report on Pastor Saeed’s horrifying condition.

With the United States sitting down with the Iranian delegation again this week, it is essential that our government not forget Pastor Saeed—a U.S. citizen whose been imprisoned in Iran for more than two-and-a-half years. President Obama communicated to Pastor Saeed’s wife and children that bringing Pastor Saeed home was a “top priority.” We urge the Obama administration to put those words into action. Regardless of the outcome on the nuclear deal, the U.S. government should not leave the table until it has secured the freedom of Pastor Saeed. Let us leave no man behind.

At this critical juncture, Iran has an invaluable opportunity to show the world that it is committed to rejoining the international community—yet, it must take steps to build trust and good faith. Iran should demonstrate its good faith to the world by immediately releasing Pastor Saeed.

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