The most significant statement made during President Barack Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast address Thursday morning might have gone unnoticed, especially among those who haven’t been following American Pastor Saeed Abedini’s ongoing detention in Iran. Obama pledged during the speech to do everything in his power to secure the release of Abedini, a Christian who has been detained in Iran for the past 18 months. The president plainly proclaimed, “Today, we call on the Iranian government to release Pastor Abedini.” Naghmeh Abedini, the detained pastor’s wife, told TheBlaze that this moment in the speech was profoundly notable, as it marked the first time Obama had publicly made a statement directly calling for her husband’s release. Previously, she had told TheBlaze that the president’s silence on the matter showed “in his heart that he doesn’t care.” “This is the first sign of him speaking out and I do hope it will continue,” Naghmeh Abedini told TheBlaze. She’s hoping it wasn’t merely a gesture aimed at appeasing her family and their supporters and that real and fruitful action will follow. And while Abedini is thankful for what she calls a step in the right direction, she thinks the president should have spoken out sooner. “I had hoped that my government would have [responded] sooner and [that I would have] felt more supported and felt reassured — and that this was a very important issue,” Abedini added.
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