May 12, 2015

Risch, Crapo Vote to Free Abedini, Three Other American Prisoners in Iran

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo today praised passage of S.Con.Res 16, a concurrent resolution authored by Risch and cosponsored by Crapo, which calls for the release of four Americans being held prisoner in Iran before any sanctions relief is granted to Iran.

The legislation calls for the release of four Americans being held as political prisoners in Iran and directs the administration to use all diplomatic tools at its disposal to do that. The four Americans being held in Iran are Pastor Saeed Abedini of Boise, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, former FBI agent Robert Levinson, and Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian.

"Today nearly every member of the Senate has called on President Obama to use every diplomatic tool in the box to make sure Pastor Saeed Abedini and the three other Americans being held by Iran are released," said Risch. "We will continue to battle to obtain the release of Pastor Abedini."

"The Administration must make securing the release of  Pastor Saeed Abedini and other Americans wrongly detained in Iran the highest priority in our dealings with the Iranian regime," said Crapo.  "The President must insist on the release of these individuals before any sanction relief is granted.  I join all of my colleagues today in again pressing the Administration to do everything in its power to ensure their quick and safe return home."

The Risch resolution to free Pastor Saeed Abedini and three other Americans passed the full Senate 90-0. It passed on the heels of legislation passed last week which required any deal with Iran by the administration be submitted to Congress to review and vote on any final agreement.