House Passes Resolution To Release Imprisoned Americans In Iran

Sumner Park Contributor
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The House unanimously passed a resolution on a 391-0 vote Monday that calls for the immediate release of the three Americans being held imprisoned in Iran and any information of disappeared U.S. citizens within its borders.

As President Obama negotiates a nuclear deal with the Islamic republic, the legislature has been pushing Iran to release the Americans, according to the Military Times. (RELATED: Obama’s Big Iran Nuke Deal Is Becoming More Like A Big Disagreement)

Democratic Michigan Rep. Daniel Kildee introduced the resolution billed as House Resolution 233 in April, which gained support by cosponsors, including original cosponsor, Republican Idaho Rep. Raúl Labrador.

“I hope the government of Iran will heed of the message sent by the House and free Pastor Saeed and other Americans,” Labrador told Clearwater Tribune, who represents one of the families of Americans detained in Iran.

Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned since 2012, is serving an eight-year prison term for holding a Bible study in a private home.

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, arrested for alleged spying, has spent more than 300 days in the Iranian prison.

Former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati was arrested in 2011 for alleged espionage. Although he was first charged with a death sentence, his punishment later reduced to 10 years.

Former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who was working on an unapproved CIA mission, went missing in 2007. Levinson remains missing in absence.

“Today Congress spoke with one voice to tell Iran that it cannot continue to hold American political prisoners like Amir Hekmati if they are serious about reengaging the global community,” Kildee said in a statement. “The world needs to know Amir’s name because he is a real person — not just a pawn in a geopolitical struggle between Iran and the rest of the world. He is innocent, yet has been held prisoner in Iran for 1,386 days. It is long past time for him to be reunited with his family in Michigan.”