The Iranian government is playing President Barack Obama "for a fool" when it comes to disarming its nuclear weapons program, Republican strategist Ron Christie believes.
"They are playing the president for a fool, frankly. They are not taking their [nuclear] centrifuges offline, we still don't have any way of verifying they're not going to enrich uranium," Christie told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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During a prayer meeting on Thursday, Obama called for the release of Saeed Abedini, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity and is now serving eight years in prison in Iran for promoting his Christian beliefs.
"This president comes out today [and] does not know how to secure our Americans who are being held hostage [there]," Christie said.
"I just think it's a disgrace that he didn't use the freeing of our hostages and those men and women who are in harm's way as an opening gambit in his negotiations."
But Forbes writer Rick Ungar, a Democrat, believes there is more going on than meets the eye.
"I don't think it was an accident that the president brought it up at this time. That's probably a set-up. One of the signs of good faith that you're likely to see if these negotiations proceed is that he'll be released," he said.
"This is what I think is in the cards and I don't think the president would have brought it up if he didn't think that through."
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