Iran deal: Obama leaves Pastor Saeed, other Americans behind

The worst case scenario has happened.

The Obama administration has signed a deal with Iran -- a deal that failed to secure the freedom of American Pastor Saeed Abedini and other Americans who remain imprisoned in Iran.

It is unconscionable that the United States would ink a deal and leave Americans behind. But that’s exactly what has occurred.

For months now, we have demanded that the U.S. bring home Pastor Saeed and the others – former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, and retired FBI agent Robert Levinson – before any deal was reached.

It is unconscionable that the United States would ink a deal and leave Americans behind.

So much for President Obama’s often touted promise not to leave any Americans behind.

This from a president who looked Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh and their two young children, in the eye and promised them that securing Pastor Saeed’s release from an Iranian prison was a “top priority.”

How can that be a “top priority” when the U.S. refused to act – leaving Pastor Saeed in an Iranian prison cell?

Naghmeh told me she is heartbroken. And now is focusing her attention on Congress, which must approve the deal:

“I plead with Congress to ensure that my husband, an American citizen, is not left behind. With the announcement of a deal and yet silence as to the fate of Saeed and the other Americans held hostage in Iran, their fate lies now in the hands of Congress. I plead with each member of Congress to review the deal with our family at the forefront of their thoughts. Congress holds the key to bringing my husband home, to returning the father to my children.

My children have desperately missed the loving embrace of their father for the last 3 years of their lives. They have grown up almost half of their lives without their father. Please help us ensure the remainder of their childhood includes both a mother and a father.

The opportunity for Iran to prove its good intentions is now.  It must first release Saeed and the other Americans that it is holding captive.  These are human lives. Lives which hold inherent dignity endowed by our Creator. They are neither a mere statistic nor collateral damage in the world's attempt to curtail Iran's nuclear development. They are husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers. Do not forget them.

So many people are watching and praying for the return of my husband and the other Americans. I ask that Congress keep Iran accountable and that it help bring my husband and the other Americans home.  Please help bring this American pastor home back safely to American soil.”

There will be much debate about the US-Iran deal – whether this is a good deal or a bad one.

President Obama has turned his back on Pastor Saeed and the other captive Americans. There really should be no debate about that.

In our view, by failing to secure the release of Pastor Saeed and the others, this bad deal just got worse.

We are calling on Congress to stand-up for these captive Americans and reject this flawed deal.