During a conversation with senior White House officials about President Obama’s nuclear deal, reporters questioned why he was unable to secure the release of Americans who are unfairly detained by the Iranian government.
One White House official expressed hope that Iran would do the right thing now that the nuclear deal negotiations were over.
“We think that this is a moment where Iran has a really important opportunity to make a humanitarian gesture and bring the Americans home,” he explained to reporters during a conference call on Tuesday.
Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, Former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, and Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini, are currently being held in Iran over trumped up charges. Former FBI agent Robert Levinson has been missing in Iran since 2007.
The senior White House official insisted that the U.S. government was doing “whatever we possibly can” to bring the detained and missing Americans home.
Secretary of State John Kerry also referred to the prisoners during his press conference on Tuesday after announcing the deal.
“We continue to call on Iran to immediately released the detained U.S. citizens,” Kerry explained to reporters. “These Americans have remained in our thoughts throughout this negotiation, and we will continue to work for their safe and swift return.”
Obama, of course, got upset yesterday after a reporter questioned him about the failure to bring home the imprisoned American citizens.
Obama replied that Iran would have tried to get “additional concessions” from the United States in the nuclear negotiations simply because they were holding Americans prisoners.
“I’ve met with the families of some of those folks,” he said. “Nobody is content. And our diplomats and our teams are working diligently to try to get them out.”