Like most 6-year-olds, Jacob Abedini sat with a black pen in hand and excitedly sent out invitations to his seventh birthday party Tuesday. But the guest whose attendance is most important won’t be there — his father, American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who remains locked inside an Iranian prison because of Christian faith.
Abedini, a U.S. citizen and 34-year-old married father of two from Idaho, has been held in Iran for two and a half years after being accused of proselytizing in the Islamic republic. The American Center for Law and Justice and Abedini’s family have pleaded with the U.S. and UN officials to secure his release — including a meeting between the man’s wife, Naghmeh Abedini, and President Obama earlier this year in Idaho that renewed hope for the family.
As the U.S. conducts sensitive negotiations with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, the family is left wondering about the status of Abedini — especially his young son Jacob.
A copy of the birthday invitation 6-year-old Jacob Abedini sent to his father, American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who remains imprisoned in Iran. (ACLJ)
During the 10 minute face-to-face meeting with Naghmeh and her children, Obama told the boy he would try to bring his father home in time for his birthday — a promise that so far hasn’t succeeded.Instead, Abedini responded to his son’s invitation — smuggled into the prison by a relative — with a heartbreaking birthday letter written from his prison cell.
“I saw your beautiful birthday invitation that you had made me and I know how much you want me to be there on your birthday. Daddy loves you so much,” Abedini wrote. “I long to be there for your birthday and to make this reunion happen, but my chains are keeping me from you.”
“…That breaks my heart as your father,” he wrote
Why is the Obama Administration negotiating with a regime which has Americans in captivity?
Sure the Obama Administration has called for the return of Pastor Saeed, Jason Rezaian, Amir Hekmati and Robert Levinson. But as long as the Obama Administration continues to negotiate with Iran and thus continues to legitimize it they are under no real pressure to release these Americans.
President Obama is more interested in obtaining another Nobel Peace Prize than he is in securing the freedom of four Americans from captivity.