Todd Starnes, Fox News’ perpetually yippy little attack dog, spoke at the Values Voters Summit and just flat out lied, claiming that President Obama had done nothing at all to help Saeed Abedini, an American minister imprisoned in Iran on trumped up charges.
A senior administration official tells Fox News that in addition to the issue of nuclear weapons and the broader relationship between the two nations, Obama expressed concern about the pastor—who was been incarcerated for a year at Evin Prison in Tehran —along with two other U.S. citizens.
“Obama also noted our concern about three American citizens who have been held within Iran: Robert Levinson [who is missing], Saeed Abedini, and Amir Hekmati, and noted our interest in seeing those Americans reunited with their families,” the official told Fox News.
Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, immediately said the report of the call was “the most encouraging news I have heard since Saeed was imprisoned one year ago. I am very grateful to President Obama for standing up for Saeed and for the other Americans who are held captive in Iran. This development is truly an answer to prayer.”
The discussion marked the first time that Obama has mentioned Abedini and his plight since he was jailed last fall. He has never spoken out about Abedini’s imprisonment but the State Department has repeatedly condemned Iran for holding him.
“We’re very encouraged by President Obama raising the illegal imprisonment of American Saeed Abedini with Iranian President Rouhani,” Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents Saeed’s wife Naghmeh and their two children, said when told about the latest development by FoxNews.com.
“President Obama’s call to President Rouhani to release Saeed so he can be reunited with his family is a significant step forward in this critical case. We’re grateful to President Obama for raising Saeed’s imprisonment and call on President Rouhani to put his promise of being ‘moderate’ into action by releasing Saeed without further delay.”
His fellow wingnuts clearly recognize what Obama has done on this front and have praised him for it. But that is inconvenient for the narrative that Starnes is selling, so it must be ignored.