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Question on Jailed Americans in Iran Angers President

07-16-2015

A question about the fate of four Americans imprisoned or missing in Iran brought an angry response from President Barack Obama at his press conference on Wednesday.

CBS News correspondent Major Garrett questioned the president about the Iranian nuclear deal that left Americans in Iranian jails.

"As you well know, there are four Americans held in Iran, three held on trumped up charges, according to your administration, one whereabouts unknown. Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content with all the fanfare around this deal to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation, unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?" Garrett asked.

"I gotta give you credit, Major, for how you craft those questions," the president responded. "The notion that I am content as I celebrate with American citizens languishing in Iranian jails... Major, that's nonsense and you should know better."

I've met with the families of some of those folks," Obama said. "Nobody's content and our diplomats and our teams are working diligently to try to get them out."

Commenting on the incident afterwards, Garrett said "Clearly it struck a nerve."

"Was it provocative? Yes. Was it intended as such? Absolutely," he said.

The American Center for Law and Justice also criticized the administration for leaving Pastor Saeed Abedini in prison.

On its website, ACLJ wrote, "The reality is by reaching a final deal with Iran -- freeing Iran to pursue a nuclear program while it refuses to free American Pastor Saeed -- the president has abandoned him."

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