Senator John Kerry, recently confirmed as the upcoming U.S. Secretary of State, told Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that he "remains deeply concerned about the fairness and transparency of Mr. Abedini's trial."
"I, along with the U.S. government, condemn Iran's continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion and call on the Iranian authorities to respect Mr. Abedini's human rights and release him," Kerry continued.
Saeed Abedini, 32, was arrested in September 2012 in Iran and was sentenced to eight years in prison for "endangering national security" by helping house churches in that country.
In a statement to The Christian Post, Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice called Kerry's condemnation "a positive sign" and could make "a tremendous difference" in the case.
"By condemning Iran and calling for the release of Pastor Saeed, Sen. Kerry...has the opportunity to lead a worldwide effort needed to free Pastor Saeed. Nations around the globe look to the U.S. when it comes to standing up and defending religious freedom and human rights," Sekulow added.
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