Naghmeh Abedini — the wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been held in Iran since July 2012 — tells Newsmax TV
the United States is kowtowing to the Middle East nation.
"We're bowing down to their demands, we're respecting their red lines," Abedini said Wednesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV
Abedini, who recently testified about her husband's plight before Congress, said the result was that he was severely beaten in prison.
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Saeed Abedini is a former Muslim who converted to Christianity in 2000, met and married his wife, Naghmeh, a U.S. citizen, two years later, and settled in Idaho. But during a trip back to Iran, Saeed was arrested and sentenced to eight years for trying to spread his Christian faith in Iran, allegedly undermining Iranian national security.
She has repeatedly asked that a nuclear arms deal with Iran not be inked until her husband and other jailed Americans — former FBI agent Bob Levinson, Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian and former Marine Amir Hekmati — are freed.
"We're supposed to trust Iran on a bigger issue. If anything, Iran can show a goodwill gesture by releasing the Americans that it's holding hostage. Both our Senate and the House have passed unanimously a resolution calling on [their release]," she said.
"But I know that Iran has drawn a red line, they don't want to talk about Saeed, they don't want to talk about human rights issues, they've threatened they'll walk away from the table if any of these issues are discussed.
"Our government has talked about Saeed on the sidelines, but we've really not pressured Iran enough to release the Americans because Iran gets upset about that and they've threatened to walk away from the table altogether."
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