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Iran's FM: 'Glimmer of Hope' for Pastor Abedini


An Iranian official recently offered a "glimmer of hope" the imprisoned American Saeed Abedini could be set free, according to the American Center for Law and Justice.

The ACLJ reports Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested clemency could be an option for Abedini.

In an interview with CNN on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the foreign minister replied to a direct question about Pastor Abedini.

***Sign the American Center for Law and Justice's petition to free Saeed Abedini here.

"We have various clemency measures in Iran that can be introduced, happened in the past, [and] can be introduced in these cases," he said.

Saeed sustained internal injuries from the beatings he received early on in his imprisonment. He was denied medication until recently.

Zarif quickly followed up by saying the decision is not up to him but to Iran's judiciary.

Meanwhile, Abedini has been transferred from the murderer ward to a political prisoner ward in Iran's deadliest prison Rajai Shahr.

Concerns about his deteriorating health condition are growing. Abedini's Iranian family, who was able to visit him recently for the first time in six weeks, said he is getting better meals but is experiencing severe abdominal pain.

The ACLJ is urging the U.S. government to make his freedom a priority.

"When the Obama administration refused to even ask for Pastor Saeed's release during negotiations with Iran, we not only lost a critical opportunity for his freedom but effectively insulated Iran from ever feeling the need to free this U.S. citizen," the ACLJ said.

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