- - Monday, December 9, 2013

In 1979, Americans were outraged as Iran took our citizens hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. For more than a year, daily news broadcasts reported on the crisis as our internationally weakened leadership ineptly stumbled through the ordeal. It was common to see yellow ribbons tied on trees as a symbol of our desire for the safe return of our citizens.

Now, more than 30 years later, Iran once again holds American citizens captive, including a pastor, Saeed Abedini. His “heinous crime” is that he attempted to set up a Christian orphanage for abandoned Iranian children.

Instead of making every effort to ensure the safe release of these citizens, our government has appeased Iran and its intent for a viable nuclear program by lifting economic sanctions and even releasing an Iranian nuclear scientist. Where is the equity in this? In no way does Mr. Abedini pose a threat to the security of Iranian or American citizens. However, the Iranian nuclear scientist, who had been detained for attempting to violate U.S. sanctions, most definitely does pose a threat — not only to the United States, but to Israel and the rest of the free world.

The Obama administration must be strong in the unrelenting pursuit of freedom for these citizens. It should never be said that American lives were lost because of passive leadership by our government.

ED MULVANEY JR.
Anniston, Ala.