The wife of an American pastor held hostage in Iran hopes the U.S. takes advantage of a brief open window of opportunity to get her husband and three other hostages freed.
In January, 2013, Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American, was sentenced to eight years in prison because of his Christian faith. His wife, Naghmeh, tells OneNewsNow the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program provides the U.S an opportunity to bring him and the other hostages home, but she believes they have "been put on the backburner" while a deal is being worked out.
"They are a priority, but after the nuclear deal, they're not as a high priority," she laments. "And not wanting to upset the Iranian government and wanting to make the deal has made getting Saeed out much harder. Saeed is standing up for his faith. He refuses to deny his faith regardless of the tortures -- he's been in and out of solitary, the beatings -- and our government needs to stand up for him during this very difficult time."
Naghmeh has been receiving legal help from the American Center for Law and Justice. Tiffany Barrans, international legal director for the firm, believes the U.S. needs to force the issue.
"The supreme leader in Iran set what was called a red line for these negotiations, and he said that they would not discuss any human rights matters," Barrans reports. "But we as America should be the one setting the priority, not Iran."
Naghmeh Abedini recently testified about the matter before a congressional hearing in Washington.