After three years in captivity, enduring beatings and torture beyond imagination, Pastor Saaed Abedini has been freed by the Islamic State of Iran. Abedini, an Iranian-American Christian pastor who converted to Christianity from Islam, made trips to Iran in an effort to convert people to Christianity. After being warned by the Muslim government against his actions, he returned instead to build a
Pastor Saaed being warned by the Muslim government against his actions, he returned instead to build a government-approved orphanage. During that trip, Pastor Saaed was pulled from the bus, charged with undermining national security and sentenced to eight years in prison, which including brutal beatings and torture. Through it all, Pastor Saaed Abedini refused to renounce his faith.
Also freed in what is being described as a prisoner swap, with the United States giving Iran six individuals who had been held by America, is Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American corresponded. Rezaian had been held for more than 500 days charged by the Iranian regime with espionage and other crimes. He served as the WAPO’s bureau chief in Tehran.
In addition to the release of Pastor Saaed and Rezaian, the Iranians also released were Marine veteran Amir Hekmati and another American named Nosratollah Khosrawi. Specifics about Khosrawi are not known. All four of those released were Iranian-Americans who held dual citizenship.
Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ, represents the Abedini family and had worked tirelessly for Pastor Saaed’s release, had this to say about that day finally coming.
“We’re delighted this day has finally arrived. Pastor Saeed should never been imprisoned in the first place. He spent more than three years in an Iranian prison. We’re grateful for the millions of people who have stood with us in our ongoing efforts – both in this country and abroad – to secure his release. We have worked and prayed that this day would finally arrive. And now, Pastor Saeed can return home.”
Pastor Saaed’s wife, Naghmeh, said this after learning the news of her husband’s release.
“This has been an answer to prayer. This is a critical time for me and my family. We look forward to Saeed’s return and want to thank the millions of people who have stood with us in prayer during this most difficult time.”
Texas Senator and GOP Presidential candidate Ted Cruz hailed the release of Pastor Saaed and took to Twitter to praise God.
Praise God! Surely bad parts of Obama's latest deal, but prayers of thanksgiving that Pastor Saeed is coming home. https://t.co/rad1VcWUml
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 16, 2016
As of this writing, there is no acknowledgment or statement on the release of Pastor Saaed, reporter Rezaian, or any of the other prisoners by any other GOP presidential candidate. Donald Trump’s Twitter feed has been focused on attacking Ted Cruz, who has been rising in the polls and is currently either in second place in most polls or topping The Donald at first. There have been eight attack-style tweets against Cruz so far this morning.
Neither the official Twitter feed of the White House or Barack Obama have mentioned the release, though both accounts are used to a great extent by the Obama regime to push climate change, Obamacare, gun control and other far-left, unconstitutional radical transformation of America objectives.
The announcement of the release of these four American prisoners by Iran comes on the day that the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog will rule on whether Iran is in compliance with a July deal to restrict its nuclear program.
In exchange for the release of these four Americans, the AP reports that Obama has agreed to pardon or drop charges against 7 Iranians who were being held.