- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
- In Colorado, a pot holiday tries to go mainstream
Wife of jailed U.S. Christian in Iran calls for White House help
The wife of an American Christian jailed in Iran called on President Obama to demand her husband’s release Thursday, the 444th day of his captivity, and to link the Iranian nuclear deal to his freedom.
Naghmeh Abedini told a House Foreign Affairs joint subcommittee hearing that she feels abandoned because Obama administration officials have failed to publicly call for the release of her husband, the Rev. Saeed Abedini, a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Mrs. Abedini said she is “thankful” that Mr. Obama expressed “concern” for her husband when he talked by phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in September, but she was “devastated” to learn that Mr. Obama did not demand his release as a condition for negotiating a relaxation of economic sanctions on Iran as part of a six-month nuclear deal.
“My husband is suffering because he is a Christian. He is suffering because he is an American,” she said. “Yet his own government … has abandoned him.”
The length of his imprisonment Thursday equals that of 52 Americans held by Iranian militants at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran from Nov. 4, 1979, to Jan. 20, 1981, when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated president.
Mr. Abedini, an Iranian-born Christian convert from Islam, was arrested Sept. 26, 2012, while visiting Iran with Iranian government permission to continue his earlier work at an orphanage in the city of Rasht on the Caspian Sea.
He and his wife had lived in Iran, where they established about 100 underground churches for Christian converts, until 2005 — when former President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad began persecuting unauthorized house churches. They fled to the United States and settled in Boise, Idaho.
Mr. Abedini initially was jailed in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, where he was tortured repeatedly. On Nov. 3, Iran transferred him to Rajai Shahr prison, where he is surrounded by murderers, rapists and other violent criminals.
“The Iranian regime sends prisoners to Rajai Shahr to disappear,” she said. “It sends prisoners to Rajai Shahr to die.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Embassy Row: India 'shocked,' 'appalled' by consular officer's arrest
- Embassy Row: Wife of Christian held in Iran feels abandoned by Obama
- Wife of jailed U.S. Christian in Iran calls for White House help
- Most Americans want no Iranian uranium enrichment: poll
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Justice at last: 'Evil woman' outed for grabbing girl's game ball
- CHARLES: Holder's undermining of the law deserving of contempt
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- EDITORIAL: Republicans finally fight back in phony 'war on women'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.