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ICC Note: While Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, lay in a prison cell in Iran, recovering from his latest round of interrogation and abuse, the Iranian president was in New York City and called for a prisoner exchange. Saeed’s “crime” being a Christian and meeting with others who shared his beliefs. He was not engaged in espionage or a violation of international or local laws. Yet, Iran’s President is pushing for him to be treated as collateral.

09/30/2015 Iran (Christian Post) – The statement made by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that he is willing to free Pastor Saeed Abedini and other Americans languishing in Iranian prisons in exchange for 19 Iranians allegedly detained in the US, is “absurd” and an ”insulting demand,” Abedini’s wife Nagmeh said.

Naghmeh told FoxNews that her husband—who is serving an eight-year sentence in one of Iran’s toughest prisons simply for sharing his Christian faith—has broken no Iranian laws, and that the Iranian government should stop holding his husband as a hostage for ransom.

“My husband is not collateral. He is a father and a man who broke no law. Yet Iran is treating him like a pawn in a game of chess. President Rouhani’s demand that America release 19 criminals in exchange for his consideration of releasing individuals like my husband, imprisoned solely for his faith, demonstrates that the Iran of today is no different than the Iran who took Americans hostage during the Iranian revolution,” she said.

In her Facebook page, Nagmeh cited a UN report, saying “Iran is breaking its own laws and international laws that they have agreed to by keeping Saeed in prison.”

Rouhani earlier told CNN during the UN General Assembly in New York that he is willing make the deal provided that 19 Iranian citizens in US custody charged with violating sanctions against Iran’s nuclear programme would also be released.

The Iranian president said such offenses lodged against them should now be considered moot following the approval of the US-brokered nuclear deal, which relaxes the sanctions against Iran in exchange for the promise of nuclear inspections.

Naghmeh said Iran should be doing more to show good faith to the global community after the lifting of sanctions.

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