In the aftermath of the nuclear deal that the US and Iran agreed to over the weekend, many questions remain. Among those, what happens to the American pastor currently being held in an Iranian jail. Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, is currently imprisoned in Iran, serving an 8 year sentence charged with “planting house churches that are intended to undermine national security.” Not only was he not released after Secretary of State Kerry struck his deal with Iran, his plight was made worse. CNN reports that his imprisonment was “intensified” after the deal was announced.
Even worse, CNN confirmed from Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken that Abedini’s plight was never part of the nuclear negotiations. Neither was Iran’s support for terrorism worldwide.
WOLF BLITZER: So a lot of folks are asking, Tony, in exchange for the $6 billion or $7 billion they’re about to get in relief on these sanctions, why weren’t they included. Why are they still being held captive inside Iran?
TONY BLINKEN: First of all, I watched your report and I heard her, and it is very powerful, and the president has raised this. In fact, in his conversation with President Rouhani, when Rouhani was in New York for the U.N. general assembly and they spoke on the phone, the only issue other than nuclear file that the president raised was the three Americans who are in Iran, and he asked for Rouhani’s assistance in freeing them and allowing them to return to the United States. Rouhani said that he would look into it. With regard to these negotiations, the only subject on the agenda is the nuclear file. There are unfortunately many things that Iran does around the world that we don’t like, including its support for terrorism, including its destabilizing activities in the middle east. None of this was on the agenda for the nuclear negotiations. The only thing on the agenda was the nuclear file, to see if we can get to a point where the world is satisfied that Iran has a nuclear program that is only for peaceful purposes, that it can’t produce a bomb. That’s what we’re focused on. But as I said, the only thing the president raised with President Rouhani when he spoke to him other than the nuclear issue was the fate of these three Americans and asking that they be returned to the United States.
BLITZER: Well the case of Saeed Abedini, they apparently intensified his incarceration, they threw him into a more hostile prison environment that looks like a slap at the U.S., directly at the president after he raised it with Rouhani.
BLINKEN: We have been repeatedly clear that we are calling on Iran to release them. The president’s raised it. We will continue to raise it. And we hope to see them return home.
Watch video of the segment here.
While disgusting, the fact that Obama and Kerry abandoned a Christian pastor in Iran is hardly surprising. Barack Obama doesn’t care about Christians in this country and is using his health care law as a tool of oppression. Why would he ever care about Christians in Iran or any other country?