Risch to State Dept official regarding Abedini: ‘Why can’t we get this guy out of jail?’

kmoeller@idahostatesman.comFebruary 4, 2014 

U.S. Senator Jim Risch pressed a state department official Monday on the status of efforts to free Boise pastor Saeed Abedini, who was imprisoned in Iran in September of 2012.

Risch asked Wendy Sherman, under secretary for political affairs at the State Department, for an update during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on “Negotiations on Iran’s Nuclear Program."

Risch expressed outrage that Iran has received $500 million as part of a nuclear pact — without promising release of Abedini or two other Americans believed to be held in Iranian prisons.

"Somebody needs to look these people in the eye and tell them they're not getting another penny and they're not getting anything until they do a very simple act of letting three absolutely Americans go free," Risch said. "I hope you'll convey that to the foreign minister, and I would hope that Sec. Kerry would convey that to the foreign minister. This is absolutely outrageous for everything we've given to the Iranians. This is absolute nonsense."

Watch the exchange in this video clip.

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