The U.S. Senate sent a strong message to Iran and the Obama administration this afternoon by unanimously voting in favor of a resolution calling on the Obama administration to, in the words of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “use the tools it has in pursuit of what should be a bipartisan goal: securing the release of American citizens being held as hostages by the regime in Iran.”
Majority Leader McConnell continued when speaking in favor of the resolution:
One of those Americans, Saeed Abedini, has reportedly been held prisoner for what would appear to be the supposed ‘crime’ of attempting to build and operate an orphanage. Beaten, denied access to medical care and locked away in solitary confinement—that’s apparently how the Iranian regime deals with those who dare to show love and compassion to others.
No American should find this acceptable. Just as no American should find it acceptable to unjustly imprison a reporter, or a grandson coming to see his grandmother. I think we can all agree that, at the very least, the American government should not be rewarding Iran for its disgraceful human-rights abuses—that we should not be granting Iran access to the funding it desires to further its nuclear weapons program and terrorist proxies while this exploitation continues.
So I call on every Senator to join us in standing up for human rights. Let’s pass Senator Risch’s legislation later this afternoon.
The resolution, sponsored by Senator James Risch of Idaho—the home state of Pastor Saeed Abedini and where his wife, Naghmeh, and two young children still live—shows that Congress has not forgotten about Pastor Saeed and the other Americans wrongfully imprisoned in Iran.
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