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Advocates Of Boise Man Held In Iran Say Obama Administration Must Do More

Twitter: @SenatorRisch

A Boise woman was on Capitol Hill Thursday to make her case for the U.S. government negotiating the release of her husband from a prison in Iran. 

Nagmeh Abedini, her attorney and experts on human and religious rights, testified in front of a House subcommittee. They urged President Barack Obama and the U.S. State Department to do more to free Saeed Abedini – the Boise man held in prison in Iran for more than a year.

“Time is of the essence,” Naghmeh Abedini told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  “My husband is suffering because he’s a Christian. He’s suffering because he’s an American.”

Abedini then criticized the U.S. government for failing to negotiate her husband’s release during recent talks over sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program.  The family’s attorney and several members of the House committee also blasted the Obama administration for what they see as a missed opportunity.    

“They have a colossal failure in trying to relieve some of these sanctions without making this at the forefront,” said Randy Weber, R-TX.

Concerns have been ongoing over Saeed Abedini’s health.  He was moved this fall to a prison known for housing some of Iran’s most violent offenders.

“His case needs to be front and center in the next round of U.S. – Iranian negotiations,” Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ, said. “Time is running out.”

Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio

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