The wife of American Pastor Saeed Abedini has made an emotional video she hopes will tug on President Barack Obama's heartstrings and persuade him to help get her husband released from a nightmarish Iranian prison.
In the video, Rebekka Abedini, 7, and her brother, Jacob, 6, ask the president to help spring their father, now in the second year of an eight-year sentence for trying to spread his Christian faith in Iran, allegedly undermining Iranian national security.
"Why does our daddy need to be in prison for loving Jesus?" Rebekka asks in the tear-jerking video. Adds Jacob: "Please help bring my daddy home.''
"I hope [the president] sees the human part of it . . . I hope to reach his human heart, his human side,'' Naghmeh Abedini said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"He's a dad. He has two daughters . . . I hope it reaches something inside of him to want to do something to get [my husband] home.''
Naghmeh Abedini noted that the U.S. is on good terms with Iran right now.
"They're wanting help with [defeating] ISIS. We're negotiating. This is an easy ask . . . Iran hasn't said he was a spy or he's broken any of their internal laws.''
Saeed Abedini, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity in 2000, met and married his wife, Naghmeh, a U.S. citizen, two years later. The family lives in Idaho.
Naghmeh Abedini says the Obama administration has not put enough pressure on the Iranian government to get her spouse released. The pastor has suffered savage beatings in prison and has been hospitalized in the past, she said.
"I'm not allowed to talk to him, but his parents visit him in prison every Wednesday, so about a week ago is what I heard, he's doing better,'' she said.
"But he's still struggling with internal bleeding because of the beatings in the hands of the radicals there at the prison system, and he's in one of the worst prisons in the world . . . We just need to get him home.''
She added that their father's absence is getting harder and harder on the children.
"My daughter was 5, now she's almost 8. She's missed three birthdays without him, and that's a lot of years for an 8-year old,'' she said.
"I have a lot of videos, unfortunately, of them crying and asking for him . . . My kids are hurting, they're suffering, and just because my husband's a Christian.
"He hasn't broken any law and Iran's holding him illegally, they are torturing him and I just want the world to see these are kids that are hurting. This is a family in pain every single day.''
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