by Sylvia Andrews
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
While Secretary John Kerry feverishly worked to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, three American citizens sat in Iranian jails, a fourth has been reported “missing” in that country. Saeed Abidini, Amir Hekmati, and Jason Rezainan are in prison…all on trumped-up charges. Robert Levinson is still missing. Abidini is an Iranian-American Christian pastor who was detained in 2012 on charges tied to his religious beliefs. Hekmati is a former US Marine who was imprisoned more than three years ago on espionage charges, which both the US Government and his family say, were false. Rezainan is the Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief and was arrested July 2015. The Iranians have failed to make his charges public. Levinson, a private investigator, was taken hostage on Iran’s Kish Island in 2007.
It’s inconceivable that our government would sit down for talks with Iran while Americans languish in their prisons, and one is lost in their country. That should have been an absolute in the so-called negotiations. Instead, Mr. Kerry did everything to appease the Iranians, giving in to a multitude of their demands. His obsequious behavior is an embarrassment, and makes the United States look weaker. He dealt with a group of people who have no respect for our government, so this administration’s strategy is not working. Our stance with Iran should have been…release all the American citizens that you are holding, and find Mr. Levinson. THEN, and only then, we will talk. However, the Iranians don’t have to do anything, can be as arrogant as they wish, while we will continue to acquiesce to their demands.
On many occasions I have heard the president and members of his administration say that no man should be left behind. That was their war cry after Mr. Obama released five Taliban terrorists in order to obtain the release of Bowe Bergdahl, an Army deserter. The Americans that are still being held in Iran are not deserters. They are honorable men, who ARE being left behind. This is sickening, and shows how little regard the Obama administration has for its citizens. This is also a perfect example of how things have changed in this country.
Incidentally, there are also three Americans detained in North Korea. They are Kenneth Bae, Matthew Todd Miller, and Jeffrey Edward Fowle. Bae is serving a 15 year sentence because North Korea claims he was part of a Christian plot to overthrow the regime. Miller originally sought asylum in North Korea and has yet to go to trial. He has not heard the charges. Fowle, an American tourist, was accused of leaving a Bible in a hotel where he was staying.
We need to get our people home to their families, and this administration needs to try harder by exerting some muscle and accomplishing this. When our government lost the respect of friend and foe alike this is the result. Personally, the way the world is now, I shall not travel to any destination outside of the USA. Why not vacation in this country and keep our money here? Let’s enjoy all the wonders of America.
To the Iranians and the North Koreans there is a short message which Moses said over 5,000 years ago…”let my people go”.