- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Relatives of an American pastor jailed in Iran for more than two years say they will meet with President Obama Wednesday during the president’s trip to Idaho, according to an advocacy group representing the family.

The American Center for Law and Justice said the family of pastor Saeed Abedini will meet with Mr. Obama during his stop in Boise. The president is scheduled to speak at Boise State University Wednesday afternoon to build support for initiatives from his State of the Union address.

The White House did not confirm the meeting.

In a statement released by the ACLJ, the pastor’s wife, Naghmeh, said she was “overjoyed” that Mr. Obama agreed to meet with her.

“I have tried over the last two years to meet with the president or even get a phone call from him without success,” she said. “It is truly an answer to prayer that he is coming to Boise and it is a miracle that he is meeting with us. I see God’s hand in arranging this crucial meeting.”

Mr. Abedini has been imprisoned in Iran for more than 800 days after initially being arrested in 2009 for organizing Christian churches there. He was released when he pledged to stop the activity, and became a U.S. citizen in 2010.

But when he returned to Iran in 2012 to help build an orphanage, police imprisoned him again.

Mr. Obama has personally called on Iranian President Hasan Rouhani to free Mr. Abedini, as well as Amir Hekmati, a U.S. Marine who was charged with spying during a trip to visit relatives, and Robert Levinson, a CIA operative who disappeared in Iran seven years ago.

The Obama administration is negotiating a nuclear deal with the Iranian regime.

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