Leaders Rejoice over Saeed's Release but Lament Nuclear Deal
After nearly four years in an Iranian prison Pastor Saeed Abedini has been released along with four others, as part of a U.S-Iranian prisoner swap.
Many rejoiced over the news. Gov. Mike Huckabee tweeted "I join millions of Americans and his overjoyed wife Naghmeh in saying, 'Well done Saeed! You are a faithful servant and welcome home!'
"I #praiseGod for answered prayer and thank all of you who have prayed faithfully for the release of Saeed Abedini!" tweeted Frankiln Graham.
The news comes on the same day as Iran and other world powers implemented a landmark nuclear deal that lifts sanctions against the country. Still, U.S officials indicated that the prisioner exchange was a seperate deal.
But several U.S. leaders remain leery about the deal.
"Today, the Obama administration will begin lifting economic sanctions on the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. As the president himself has acknowledged, Iran is likely to use this cash infusion-more than $100 billion in total-to finance terrorists," House Speaker Paul Ryan said.
Weeks after Tehran's most recent ballistic missle test and days after Iran detained 10 sailors President Obama signed executive orders lifting economic sanctions.
GOP front-runner Donald Trump criticized the Iranian nuclear deal while at a campaign event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
"Now I have to see what the deal is for the four people, because someone said they were getting seven back. So essentially, they get 150 billion plus seven, and we get four. Doesn't sound too good. Doesn't sound too good," he said. "I am happy they are coming back, but it is a disgrace they have been there this long, a total disgrace."
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., issued a statement saying, "on national Religious Freedom Day, it is good news to hear that Pastor Saeed Abedini and three other Americans are being freed from an Iranian prison, after a long detention for unjust reasons. "
"This positive news, however, does not excuse the recent brazen acts of Iran and the ayatollahs, nor justify the horrible Iran nuclear deal," he added.