As the Obama administration takes a victory lap for its prisoner swap of four Americans in exchange for clemency for seven Iranians indicted or imprisoned in the United States and dropped charges against 14 others, Donald Trump has remained quiet about his role in keeping the plight of one of the Americans in the public eye.

Trump has been tweeting about Pastor Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-born U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran since 2012, for several years, demanding that the government to more to secure his release claiming that the White House had abandoned him.

Trump met with Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, at his Trump Tower in New York City after she said she wanted to meet him to thank him personally for his concern about her husband, a pastor sentenced in 2012 to eight years in prison while in the country working on a state-run orphanage.

“I am most thankful that of the many issues that Mr. Trump could engage he has chosen to speak out about the unjust imprisonment of my husband by the Iranian government. This reveals to me the heart of Mr. Trump and his commitment to religious freedom.  I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Trump for his concern of my husband and our family.  I am very grateful for his support and want to offer the most valuable gift I have - the gift of prayer. May God Bless Mr. Trump and his family.”

After the meeting, Trump tweeted, “Naghmeh Abedini, the lovely wife of the Christian Pastor Saeed being held in an Iranian jail, just left my office. Iran must immediately allow Christian ‪#PastorSaeed out of prison or we should put back sanctions (which should never have been lifted).”


Abedini was tortured and sustained injuries as a result of a beating by fellow-prisoners last June.

The American Center for Law and Justice, whose Chief Counsel, Jay Sekulow released a statement following the release. “We’re delighted this day has finally arrived. Pastor Saeed should never been imprisoned in the first place.”


The pastor’s wife, Naghmeh Abedini, added that her husband’s return is “an answer to prayer.”

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