In a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Tuesday, Sen. Jim Risch urged U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to increase pressure on Iran to release Boisean Saeed Abedini.
Abedini was imprisoned in September of 2012 for his involvement in Christian home churches in his native Iran. He was visiting family and building an orphanage that summer.
Iran’s Supreme Leader pardoned 920 prisoners in late March, but Abedini wasn’t among them.
“This is heart breaking for the kids and I,” Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, wrote on Facebook Sunday. “I will not give up fighting for my husband’s release. I will continue to fix my eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith. Trusting in Jesus and His timing and His Goodness.
Here’s what Risch said Tuesday:
Here’s a transcript of what he says in the video:
“I want to talk just briefly about Iran. I’ve got a constituent, Pastor Abedini, who is in prison [in Iran]. John, you’ve got to do something about this. You sit across the table from these people. There is no reason he should be in prison today. You cut loose hundreds of millions of dollars to those people; you’ve relaxed some of the sanctions. Please, help these people. Tell the Iranians you are not going to do anything more for them until they release him and the two other people that they are holding against all international law, against all human rights, and against any definition of morality.”