Anguished Families: What About Our Loved Ones Trapped in Iran?

Daniel Doherty
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Posted: Jul 14, 2015 4:00 PM
Anguished Families: What About Our Loved Ones Trapped in Iran?

Depending on whom you speak with the P+1 deal is either an historic accord or a deeply dangerous agreement that, if green lighted, will pave Iran's path to the bomb. Republicans almost universally believe it is the latter.

Time and again, they have refused to mince words about the ramifications of such a lopsided and dangerous deal, arguing that easing restrictions and empowering the mullahs will destabilize the world and threaten the security of Israel. Yet while the administration congratulates itself on a job well done (even though Congress must first debate and approve any proposed treaty within 60 days) some disbelieving Americans are already feeling the cold sting of helplessness and despair:

As the world figures out who the winners and losers are in the controversial Iranian nuclear deal, the families of four Americans believed to be held in Iran have a message for the tired American diplomats: Until our loved ones are home, you’re nowhere near done.

“The governments of the United States and Iran have worked together to reach this agreement,” Christine Levinson, the wife of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, said today. “They need to continue working together with the same sense of urgency to resolve Bob’s case and return him home to his family as soon as possible. Bob has been held against his will for more than eight years. This nightmare must end.”

The other hostages detained in Iran are former US service member Amir Hekmati, journalist Jason Rezaian, and Pastor Saeed Abedini. Startlingly, the proposed agreement, which is earning plaudits from some political quarters, says nothing about securing these Americans’ release. And Donald Trump, of all people, is raising hell about it in a way other candidates in the Republican Party are seemingly not:

“We have four prisoners over there…they shouldn’t be over there! One’s over there because he’s a pastor…”

Which, incidentally, is why the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is calling the deal “unconscionable.”

The agreement reached between the United States and Iran is “unconscionable” because it leaves Pastor Saeed, a U.S. citizen, behind – imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith.

It is unconscionable that the Obama Administration would sign a deal with Iran without securing the freedom of Pastor Saeed who has been imprisoned for nearly three years simply because of his Christian faith.

Actually, isn't it unconscionable a deal wasn’t struck from the beginning that freed all political prisoners?

Let us hope Congress, which is the families’ last hope, can force the administration to secure their release if and when the deal is finally authorized. Otherwise, the eventual, US-approved deal will be even worse than it already is.