Left Behind: Obama Agrees to Lift Iranian Sanctions Without Securing the Release of an American Pastor Held in Iran

   You probably haven't heard of American Christian pastor Saeed Abedini. Aside from Fox News, the mainstream media has barely touched on the story of this American citizen who is currently being held hostage and tortured by the Iranians for his Christian beliefs. He's been imprisoned in Iran for more than a year now, and has reportedly suffered through numerous beatings and who knows how much torture. He was accused of attempts to undermine the Iranian government by establishing Christian churches in Iran and was promptly sentenced to serve 8 years in a dangerous Iranian prison.

   While this nuclear deal may seem like it happened all of sudden, it appears talks have been going on behind the scenes for quite some time. The talks have apparently been going on for at least as long as Abedini has been held and tortured, possibly longer.

   When the "historic" nuclear enrichment agreement with Iran was announced, I'm sure Pastor Abedini's family was on the edge of their seats, waiting for the announcement they'd been waiting over a year to hear. Surely Obama wouldn't forget about an American pastor held hostage by the nation he was about to lift sanctions against, would he?

   Apparently, he would.

   Obama and John Kerry apparently failed to negotiate the release of Abedini as part of the deal. They had the leverage to do it. Iran was finally starting to crumble under the sanctions placed on them many years ago. This was our chance to hit hard and demand the Saeed be released. It didn't happen. Our administration sat down across the table from Iran and hammered out a nuclear arms treaty without securing the release of Abedini.

   In case you're wondering whether it was simply an oversight, here's a press statement released by John Kerry on August 28 regarding Abedini and two other American citizens left behind in Iraq. Our government knowingly left American citizens behind while hammering out a toothless nuclear arms agreement with Iran.

   There should have been no treaty until our citizens were released. Like the press release says, "These men belong at home with those who love them and miss them."