Also released with Pastor Abedini were Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, and businessman Nosratollah Khosravi. The fifth one released was Matthew Trevithnick. These five were part of a deal that released seven Iranian prisoners from U.S. jails, six of who were also dual US-Iranian citizens who had been convicted as guilty of violating sanctions against Iran.
The release of Pastor Abedini is indeed an answer to many prayers offered to God by his brethren.
20 January 2013: Brothers and Sisters in Christ all over the world the situation of Pastor Saeed Abedini is our immediate concern, and we must lift him, his wife Naghmeh and their two young children up to God in prayer. Pastor Abedini, an American-Iranian citizen, was pulled off a public transportation bus and arrested in September 2012 for the same "crime" as Iranian Pastor Yusef Nadarkhani - his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his preaching of The Word to the Iranian people.
Pastor Abedini in being held in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran where is subjected to an alternating daily regimen of physical torture, mental anguish, sleep deprivation as well as an unrelenting assault upon his inviolable human rights. A hastily scheduled trial before Judge Pir-Abassi the day after tomorrow, Monday, 21 January 2013, stands before our brother-in-Christ. Judge Pir-Abassi is infamous the world over for the number of unwarranted death sentences he has handed down.
At the present time and to the best of any one's knowledge the United States Department of State under Hillary Rodham Clinton has done absolutely nothing to intercede on Pastor Abedini's behalf. Neither has U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama made an official statement regarding Pastor Abedini's imprisonment and impending trial. However, in a "better something than nothing" development the following statement was issued on Friday, 18 January by National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor:
“We remain troubled by the case of US citizen Saeed Abedini, who was arrested by Iranian officials more than three months ago on charges relating to his religious beliefs. We call upon Iranian authorities to release him immediately.”
Even though the United States of America's National Security Council remains "troubled," let us continue to pray in vigil wherever we are in the world for Pastor Saeed, his wife Naghmeh and their children in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.