Today, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution that directly calls “on the Government of Iran to immediately release Saeed Abedini and all other individuals detained on account of their religious beliefs.”
The Senate resolution was sponsored by Senators Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Via the ACLJ:
The Senate resolution concludes:
Resolved, That the Senate–
(1) recognizes that freedom of religious belief and practice is a universal human right and a fundamental freedom of every individual, regardless of race, sex, country, creed, or nationality, and should never be arbitrarily abridged by any government;
(2) recognizes that governments have a responsibility to protect the fundamental rights of their citizens; and
(3) calls on the Government of Iran to immediately release Saeed Abedini and all other individuals detained on account of their religious beliefs.
This is a critical step forward in increasing pressure on the Iranian government to release Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen.
A similar resolution is currently pending in the U.S. House of Representatives after clearing a key procedural hurdle yesterday. We are hopeful that this resolution will be approved quickly as well.
In a statement following the passage of Senate Resolution 284, Senator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) called on the president and Sec of State to bring Pastor Saeed’s case to the attention of the Iranian Regime.
“The United States Senate should be commended for passing S. Res. 284 by unanimous consent, and I appreciate the leadership Senators Risch and Crapo have taken on this issue on behalf of their constituent, Saeed Abedini. Pastor Saeed’s detention and brutal treatment by the Islamic Republic of Iran is an outrage, and I am proud to join my colleagues in calling for his immediate release.
I hope President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry will take every opportunity to raise his case, and make clear to the Iranian regime that this abuse of an American citizen, for peacefully practicing his faith, materially undermines any suggestion that they have moderated their oppressive policies.”