Obama urges Iran to release imprisoned, missing Americans
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama on Friday called on Iran to release Americans who are imprisoned or went missing in Iran.
Alluding to the Nowruz holiday as a “time of renewal, compassion and understanding,” Obama released a statement in which he reiterated “my commitment to bringing our citizens home, and call on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately release Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Jason Rezaian, and to work cooperatively with us to find Robert Levinson so that they all can be safely reunited with their families as soon as possible.” Abedini has spent two-and-a-half years detained in Iran on charges related to his religious beliefs, the President noted.
Hekmati “has been imprisoned in Iran on false espionage charges for over three-and-a-half years,” Obama said.
Rezaian, an Iranian government credentialed reporter for the Washington Post, “has been unjustly held in Iran for nearly eight months on vague charges,” the President said.
“And finally, we recently marked yet another anniversary since Robert Levinson went missing on Kish Island.” Obama said. “His family has now endured the hardship of his disappearance for over eight years.”