Senator Ted Cruz has organized an effort to urge President Barack Obama to help free Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American pastor imprisoned in Iran.
“The President of the United States is in a unique position to focus international attention on the unjust and abusive detention of one of our citizens,” Cruz says in a press release. “There might also be an opportunity for administration officials participating in nuclear negotiations in Geneva this week to raise the issue directly with their Iranian counterparts. Time is of the essence given Pastor Saeed's current predicament.”
Cruz has organized a bipartisan letter in the Senate to ask Obama to help.
“All those who have followed Pastor Saeed's case commend you for raising the issue with President Hasan Rouhani,” the letter reads. “We believe this new action by the Iranian regime merits additional response. It is imperative for the United States government to speak out boldly on behalf of Pastor Saeed at the earliest opportunity, and we look forward to supporting you in this effort.”
According to Cruz's office, things just got worse for the pastor. "This week, Pastor Saeed was suddenly and without explanation transferred from Iran’s Evin prison to the even more brutal Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj, which houses violent criminals on death row and is infamous for abusing political prisoners," Cruz's office says.
The U.S. is reportedly negotiating with Iran about its rogue nuclear program. Reports do not indicate that the U.S. has brought up the plight of the pastor in their talks.