Attorney of Pastor Jailed in Iran: Obama Must Speak Up

Thursday, 26 Sep 2013 07:09 PM

By Cathy Burke

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The one-year anniversary of the jailing in Iran of an American Christian must be the impetus for President Barack Obama to finally speak out against the injustice and demand his release, Jordan Sekulow, an attorney for the imprisoned minister, said Thursday.

Sekulow told "The Steve Malzberg Show" over 70 vigils were underway across the U.S. and in 16 countries, in support of the release of Idaho pastor Saeed Abedini, who was thrown into Iran’s brutal Evin prison for his Christian faith.

"It was [the pastor’s wife] Naghmeh Abedini who wanted to ask people to do this," he said. "She did it via Facebook and it just took over from there."

"She said, 'I had this opportunity to speak out.' There are probably 290, 300 other Iranian Christians who are in jail only because they're Christians. Unlike all of them, she can be a voice for Saeed and those others."

There have been White House officials and members of Congress who have joined in support, Sekulow said, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

"We have exhausted the Iranian legal system," Sekulow said. "We can make the direct appeal to the ayatollah, but at this point in time it's really up to the United States and our allies."

In particular, he said, Obama must lend his voice.

"The president has yet to even mention Saeed by name," Sekulow said. "And so, today, that is the focus. We've just got a new letter from Sen. Lindsey Graham who's . . . just released a letter telling the president, 'okay, enough is enough… you need to come out and speak out for this American citizen.'"

"It's been too long — it's been a year now. It’s time for you to speak out. And that's the message we're sending today."

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