US condemns death sentence for Iranian pastor

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. says Iran should release a pastor who’s been sentenced to death for apostasy.

White House press secretary Jay Carney says 32-year-old Yusuf Naderkhani, who turned to Christianity when he was 19, has done nothing more than stay devoted to his faith.

Carney says Iran’s attempt to force him to renounce that faith “crosses all bounds of decency” and breaches Iran’s international obligations.

The pastor was convicted of apostasy in 2010.

His lawyer says he has appeared before an appeals court over the past four days and expects a ruling on a possible acquittal by week’s end.