U.S. Senator Jim Risch asked the U.S. State Department to stop releasing funds to the Iranian regime unless American Pator Saeed Abedini is released.
During a hearing at U.S. congress, Senator Risch of state of Idaho addressed the department's Under Secretary for Political Affairs and said: "Do me a favor, do the American people a favor, and do the Abedini family a favor: tell them next time you're not going to give them any more unless they cut these 3 people loose".
"I can almost guarantee they are going to do that, you're talking about billions of dollars. We are talking about 3 people that we really need out of prisons in Iran," he added.
Since Hassan Rouhani became the president, the clerical regime has added a new dimension to the arrest and oppression of pastors and Christians.
In 2013, A number of them were arrested in Tehran, Fars, Isfahan and Azerbaijan on charges of 'acting against national security' or 'evangelizing and propaganda in favor of Christianity' and participation in religious rituals.
In October 2012, Iranian-American pastor Saeid Abedini was arrested during his visit to Iran on charge of “setting up and initiating home-churches with the objective of disrupting national security” and later was sentenced to 8 years in prison.