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Published On: Wed, Jan 29th, 2014

Pastor Saeed Abedini’s release from Iranian Prison may reside in ‘clemency measures’ says official

US Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini remains jailed in an Iranian prison, recently separated from inmates jailed for murder and violent crimes, but a release may be in Iran’s “clemency measures,” says an Iranian official.

In an interview with CNN, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was directly asked about Pastor Saeed and his answer provides a glimmer of hope for Pastor Saeed’s freedom.

Pastor Saeed AbediniAs CNN reports, “We have various clemency measures in Iran that can be introduced, happened in the past, can be introduced again in these cases,” Zarif said in the interview this week from Davos, Switzerland.

Still, Zarif said the decision for clemency does not rest with him, “That is something for the judiciary to decide,” he said.

Abedini was recently moved from the worst of prisoners in Rajai Shahr Prison to the political prisoner ward.

 This last week Senator Rand Paul sent a letter to the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani asking for the gesture of good will.

Here are the words from Dr. Paul.

I am writing to you today to urge you to commute the sentence of Pastor Saeed Abedini and release him from prison. I have recently met with his wife, Naghmeh, and she is very concerned for her husband’s well-being. His health is deteriorating and he is apparently under constant threat of harm from both prison personnel and other inmates at Rajaei Shahr prison.

I wish to remain cautiously optimistic regarding the recent diplomatic progress between our two nations.  However, I must point out that if something were to happen to Pastor Abedini while he is incarcerated, any good will forged over the past few months would likely evaporate. Conversely, granting clemency to Pastor Abedini and allowing him to return to the United States would do much to create a positive atmosphere that would reflect well on future discussions.

Cooperation and trust are built one gesture at a time and actions speak louder than words.

 

 

 

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