American Christian pastor Saeed Abedini has been sitting in a filthy Iranian prison for more than a year. He's been tortured and beaten for practicing his faith, but that wasn't enough for the Obama administration to bother negotiating his release as part of the deal reached with Iran over the weekend.
"It's devastating," the pastor's wife Naghmeh Abedini told Fox News Radio.
She said her children were praying to have him home for the holidays. "It's unbearable," she said, "to think of another Christmas without him and see my kids not have him home for Christmas."
After the nuclear deal announced over the weekend, Abedini said she doesn't see "any more leverage left."
"Iran has no incentive for them to release him. I don't think we have any more leverage," she said. "We now have to consider other avenues and having other countries speak out because our country when we could have used our leverage chose to stay silent."
On the night of November 23, 2013, the President of the United States left an American pastor, Saeed Abedini, behind.
The "deal" with Iran announced tonight by President Obama, which allegedly halts "part" of Iran's nuclear program, allows Iran to enrich uranium and allows it to maintain a nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions and humanitarian relief.
It is outrageous that the Obama Administration commenced these negotiations and concluded them without the release of Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen. In fact, the Administration has just confirmed that he was not even part of the negotiations, stating that “The P5+1 talks focused exclusively on nuclear issues.”
The Obama Administration did not volunteer this information; it was revealed only after a specific inquiry from Fox News.
For more than a year, Pastor Saeed has undergone torture at the hands of his Iranian captors, most recently being transferred to one of the most deadly prisons in the world. Yet instead of demanding the release of this innocent U.S. citizen as a precondition to any negotiations with Iran, the Obama Administration is relaxing sanctions and providing humanitarian relief, while getting nothing but more meaningless promises in return.
Iran has been in a state of armed conflict against the U.S. since 1979. It has taken American hostages, killed Americans directly through terror attacks, and has been a principal supplier of arms to our jihadist enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In other words, Iran has American blood on its hands.
Iran has been our enemy since the jihadist takeover in 1979, and it remains our enemy. It holds an American pastor -- torturing him in horrific prison conditions -- merely because it hates his Christian faith.
Pastor Saeed entered Iran with the permission of the Iranian government to help construct an orphanage, a mission to help the most vulnerable in Iranian society. Once there, he was arrested, tried without even being allowed to be present for his entire trial, convicted of nothing more than his Christian faith, and held in appalling conditions.
And we're giving Iran humanitarian relief?
It is difficult to comprehend the level of betrayal. We have made "deals" with tyrants before. One of former President Bill Clinton's gifts to the world was the 1994 "agreed framework" that provided U.S. aid in exchange for an alleged halt in North Korea's nuclear program. The result? North Korea is now not only a nuclear power but also a nuclear proliferator that has worked with Iran.
We have left Pastor Saeed behind in the vain hope that we can trust Iran.
It is a dark, cold night in America.
The Obama administration leaving Americans behind? Typical. The Obama administration refusing to stand up for persecuted Christians in the Muslim world? Also typical.
If you want to help, you can sign a petition here urging for Pastor Saeed's release.
Katie Pavlich is the Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her latest book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, was published on July 8, 2014.