Skip to comments.Rouhani: Pastor Saeed Abedini Won't Be Set Free Until the US First Releases 19 Iranian Criminals
Posted on 09/29/2015 7:58:31 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned American Pastor Saeed Abedini, has slammed the apparent offer by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to free her husband in exchange for releasing Iranian prisoners being held in the United States. Naghmeh argued that her husband is not "collateral" to be treated as such.
"My husband is not collateral. He is a father and a man who broke no law. Yet Iran is treating him like a pawn in a game of chess. President Rouhani's demand that America release 19 criminals in exchange for his consideration of releasing individuals like my husband, imprisoned solely for his faith, demonstrates that the Iran of today is no different than the Iran who took Americans hostage during the Iranian revolution," Naghmeh Abedini said.
"The environment is ripe for Iran to demonstrate it is ready to re-enter the global market and international scene of diplomats; it is time to show its good will, to change its image from one of a pariah to a member of the global society who will protect fundamental rights," she added.
Rouhani, who has been pressured by leaders around the world to free the American pastor, was asked about the issue in an interview with CNN on Sunday.
He suggested that the only way Abedini and other imprisoned Americans are going to be set free is if the U.S. government agrees to reach out with the same gesture to imprisoned Iranians.
"If the Americans take the appropriate steps and set [a number of Iranians in the United States who are imprisoned] free, certainly the right environment will be open and the right circumstances will be created for us to do everything within our power and our purview to bring about the swiftest freedom for the Americans held in Iran as well," Rouhani said.
"If the Americans take the appropriate actions vis-a-vis Iranian citizens who are being imprisoned here, then the right atmosphere and environment will be created for reciprocal action perhaps," he added.
The American Center for Law and Justice, which represents Naghmeh and the couple's two children in the U.S., called the demand "absurd and insulting," and said that Iran is treating Abedini as a "hostage for ransom."
Abedini has been in prison now for three years, serving an eight year sentence. He has faced beatings and threats behind bars, and has often been denied the medical attention that he needs.
Abedini has even been threatened that his sentence will be extended.
"The interrogators threatened that Saeed will face new criminal charges. They claimed Saeed has connections with anti-government groups and has made statements and taken actions against the government of Iran. Saeed denied all of these allegations, and once again asserted that he is apolitical and that he has never threatened the security of, made any statements against, or taken any action against the government of Iran," the ACLJ said in a report last week
“My husband is not collateral. He is a father and a man who broke no law. Yet Iran is treating him like a pawn in a game of chess. President Rouhani’s demand that America release 19 criminals in exchange for his consideration of releasing individuals like my husband, imprisoned solely for his faith, demonstrates that the Iran of today is no different than the Iran who took Americans hostage during the Iranian revolution,” Naghmeh Abedini said. “
Good for her !
Every Christian should be praying for this pastor who follows Jesus. God knows how Pastor Abedini will be freed, but our prayers should be fervent in requesting that his release should be soon.
Obunghole will think this is a great deal.
I'm sure that Kerry, who served in Viet Nam, could negotiate that to 25 or 30 criminals for exchange.
Do you believe this - Iran wants to trade our 3 prisoners (not 4) for 19 prisoners held by the U.S. Should have been let go with last deal!
And yet Obama eagerly gave how many for that Muslim wannabe deserter, Bergdahl?
Hey, it worked for Bergdahl /drippingsarc
The Art of the Deal....explains what’s wrong with Kerry and Obama. I wouldn’t have even sat down at the table until they released our hostages.
That is what should have happened, and likely would have happened by any other American who cared about a fellow American, but Obama? Ha, I question his patriotism, and we all know Obama only cares about Obama and his legacy.
Well said. That should have been a nonnegotiable precondition.
One of the many side deals I bet. I even bet Kerry/obama mentioned it first.
Just when you think this regime couldn’t slap us in the face anymore......SLAP....they do it again. Going to be a horrible 16 months.
Obama would gladly make the exchange there is just a fundamental principle that he cannot overcome, one of the prisoners in Iran is a Christian, he will not engage in any negotiations that would free even a single Christian from captivity, that is not the islamic way and of course Iran knows that.
Wow, strong woman, heck, strong person! DT would do well to loudly offer his praise and support.
I think they might pay if Trump gets in.