Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Risch today pushed Secretary of State John Kerry on Pastor Saeed Abedini’s ongoing imprisonment in Iran during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. The Boise pastor has been sentenced by the Iranian government to eight years in prison for his Christian beliefs. He had been in Iran working to build an orphanage and visiting family.
“I want to talk just briefly about Iran,” said Risch. “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.”
Abedini is one of three Americans being held in Iran. He was placed under house arrest in June 2012, placed in prison in September and sentenced to prison for eight years in January 2013.
Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, and children live in the Boise area.
A YouTube video of Senator Risch’s comments can be viewed via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OFezuLdgCs&feature=youtu.be
A high-resolution file of the video for download can be found via this link: 11-comm. ch. 9am-1pm-jer_kerry-abedini_040814-2014-4-8.mp4