Tags: Iran | Iran | Nuclear | deal | Abedini | Iran

Freed Pastor Abedini to Newsmax: 'I Don't Like the Iran Nuke Deal'

Freed Pastor Abedini to Newsmax: 'I Don't Like the Iran Nuke Deal'
(Office of Rep. Pittenger)

By    |   Friday, 26 February 2016 09:04 AM

In one of his few public statements since he was freed from captivity by Iran in January, Pastor Saeed Abedini told Newsmax on Thursday that he was opposed to the nuclear agreement the Obama administration made with the Tehran regime.

"I don't like the deal," Abedini told us at a reception in his honor at the U.S. Capitol, "and I have felt that way for a long time."

Abedini, himself the son of Iranian exiles, added that his opposition to the agreement is based on what he called his "complete distrust" of the theocratic government in Tehran which held him prisoner for more than three years. 

On January 16, the White House announced that Abedini and four other American prisoners were finally being released after three years in captivity.

On Thursday evening,  Abedini was met by scores of Members of Congress who spoke of their admiration for the clergyman and how they prayed for his release.  Among the lawmakers welcoming Abedini to the Capitol were Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Robert Pittenger (R.-N.C.), chairman of the House Republican Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare.

Abedini offered a special thanks to Pittenger for the North Carolinian's tireless efforts to draw attention to his plight and seek international support for his release.

Newsmax mentioned to Abedini that the State Department provided us a detailed list of things the Administration is doing to highlight the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East, including protection of sacred monuments to mental health treatment for displaced Christians.  Were they doing enough on this issue, we asked.

"They need to be bold and assertive in making the case against persecution of Christians," he told us, "They need to provide the names of the individuals who are persecuted and displaced from their homes for the way they worship.  We need to see the names.  When people hear the names, they will take up their cause."

"When my captors read or saw on television someone speaking out for release of the prisoners, they would say 'why do they care about you?'" the pastor recalled, "They said that people 'must care deeply about you. Why do they care?'  I would tell them 'This is America and this is the love of God.'"

When someone mentioned his name, said Abedini, it would be mentioned in the government newspaper and this was helpful in moving Iran toward his eventual release.

Asked what was his worst experience behind bars in Tehran, Abedini replied without hesitation: "When they put me in the same cell as al-Qaida and ISIS prisoners.  That was worse than when they nearly beat me to death."

As to how he communicated with his family in Idaho, the clergyman revealed that "I had a cellphone that I bought from the guards.  These are the same people who pass illegal drugs to prisoners — they just want money."

Abedini also mentioned that he was sustained in captivity by the support of his family and "by praying in prison for more than one hundred hours. I prayed for [Christian] revival to come.  I feel it's going to come." 

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
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In one of his few public statements since he was freed from captivity by Iran in January, Pastor Saeed Abedini told Newsmax on Thursday that he was opposed to the nuclear agreement the Obama administration made with the Tehran regime.
Iran, Nuclear, deal, Abedini, Iran
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2016-04-26
Friday, 26 February 2016 09:04 AM
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