Ted Cruz joins WH protest for detained American pastor in Iran
September 26th, 2013
05:09 PM ET
11 months ago

Ted Cruz joins WH protest for detained American pastor in Iran

Washington (CNN ) - Sen. Ted Cruz joined about 20 protesters and members of different Christian churches outside the White House Thursday to pray for the swift return of an American pastor being held in Iran, reportedly for his Christian beliefs.

Pastor Saeed Abedini has been held in Iran and Thursday marked the one year anniversary of his detention.

Cruz called on the Obama administration to do more to secure the release of Abedini and other Americans being held in Iran.

The Republican senator from Texas said he is sponsoring legislation that would provide "two preconditions" to a meeting between President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The first, he said, would ask "that Rouhani affirm Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state." The second would call on the Iranian president to "release the American prisoners who are suffering in his jail cells right now, including Pastor Abedini."

Iran sentences U.S. pastor to 8 years in prison, group says

Following the remarks, Cruz joined several clergy members in kneeling in front of the White House and offering prayers for the quick and safe return of Abedini.

Earlier this week, CNN's Christiane Amanpour asked the Iranian president about Abedini's detention, as well as several other cases of Americans being held. The Iranian president held open the door to helping resolve the cases, but said it's a two way street.

"I would like to say that we also have people who are in prison here in the United States. And we have all – this is a sort of a mutual request. Um, the U.S. government, who must assist those Iranians, those people who are of Iranian citizenship, who are in prison here, as we should assist those people who have American citizenships that are incarcerated in Iran." Rouhani said.


Filed under: Iran • Ted Cruz • White House
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Maybe Cruz could go to Iran and read "Green Eggs and Ham." It sure got the attention and found favor with our own domestic terrorists.

    September 26, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. Lisa P.

    My best wishes to Pastor Abedini, but after "Green Eggs and Ham" Senator Cruz makes a joke out of any protest he's in. He can rhyme his "preconditions" and read 'em to his daughters at bedtime - that's their highest, best and only use.

    September 26, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. rs

    I see, so that now when an agreement on nuclear materials seems achievable with Iran (again, like Syria, without war or bloodshed), Mr. Cruz would like to block that as well.

    It seems to me these are very different issues that should be resolved seperately, and without more extortion on the part of the GOP.

    September 26, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Most important person in this story: Pastor Saeed Abedini

    Most important name for you to remember from this story: Pastor Saeed Abedini

    Person who is suffering in Iranian prison for his beliefs in this story: Pastor Saeed Abedini

    What and who you should have learned about in this story: Pastor Saeed Abedini

    CNN makes the focus point of the story: Turd Cruz.

    September 26, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Little Teddy sure loves attention!

    September 26, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Sen. Ted Cruz , anything for a photo op.

    Now that Cruz jumped in the Iranians will hold the guy longer , just out of bargaining power.

    When nuts like Cruz become involved with international diplomacy , it only becomes worse for the objective outcome .

    September 26, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Guess this is better than the "anti-immigration rally" Ted attended, hosted by none other than John Tauton, a
    white nationalist– aka "Proud Racist".
    Anything for a photo-op, eh Ted?

    September 26, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. tom l

    @Sniffit The Corporatist
    You are classic. You tell others to grow up while referring to Ted Cruz ad Turd Cruz. I guess IOIYAD

    Since this story is about Pastor Saeed Abedini, perhaps you can tell me what our President is doing about this. I have heard him mention his name....oh never....so I can see what a priority it is for him to free an American wrongfully imprisoned in another country.

    September 26, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  9. tom l

    I love how the liberals on here will talk about Ted Cruz doing this for attention (as well as his stand against the ACA yesterday) but Wendy Davis was fillibustering because she believed in her cause. Too funny.

    September 26, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    ""I can still remember the words of our last President , You're Either With Us or Against Us , The economy is strong ...
    "

    Are you talking about the Bush or the president who was talking about his fellow Americans when he said "reward your friends and punish your enemies"?
    --

    Aaaw, how cute, you took it on the chin with a reading comprehension fail of the phrase "last President." And BTW, when someone says something that is, taken properly in context, them quoting someone else, even in a hypothetical manner, it's not honest to try to attribute the part in quotes to the speaker as if they simply said it themself. Go back and look at the whole quote again. You're misrepresenting.

    September 26, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh dear. Another Ted Cruz article. Clearly I'm in the minority when it comes to Ted Cruz.
    Apparently he ... well, Christie too ... are CNNs top selling products and will be for the next three years.

    Too bad for me, no doubt. Not only are they both losers, but the ticker has lost as well. Not much going on but a
    whole lot of name calling, back stabbing, finger pointing BS. My goodness. Folks are starting to go after each other
    for nothing more than ego boosting gotcha's. I suspect Christie, Paul, and Cruz have a lot to do with the current atmosphere on the ticker. Shrugging my shoulders. I'm not interested in them or imitating their crassness.

    @Wake Up and @Dominican mama: catch up with you two ladies later. Be safe ... both of you.

    September 26, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. kayla

    ted cruz a communist praying? lol

    September 26, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "I love how the liberals on here will talk about Ted Cruz doing this for attention (as well as his stand against the ACA yesterday) but Wendy Davis was fillibustering because she believed in her cause. "

    Doing something that has a chance of success, no matter how small: filibustering.

    Doing something that has zero chance of success whatsoever: grandstanding.

    Not terribly difficult to understand.

    September 26, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. rs

    Since this story is about Pastor Saeed Abedini, perhaps you can tell me what our President is doing about this.
    ____________________________
    Perhaps you should say what you think should be done about this. After all, Mr. Abedini took himself to Iran, a risky act, and as you may note, our two nations do not even have formal diplomatic relations. No one wants to see this gentleman spend anymore time in Iran, but I fail to see how using this man as a bargaining chip AGAINST potential nuclear disarmarment makes any sense at all. As far as Mr. Cruz goes, any abuse he gets is well diserved- his behavior and judgement is spectacularly poor!

    September 26, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. Zerubbabel

    What about those parts of the Bible where Jesus healed all those who were brought to Him of various diseases and by His stripes we were healed, hypocrite.

    September 26, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. rs

    I love how the liberals on here will talk about Ted Cruz doing this for attention (as well as his stand against the ACA yesterday) but Wendy Davis was fillibustering because she believed in her cause. Too funny.
    _________________________
    Let's see- one stands up for women's rights against an unconstitutional law, and the other filibusters to wreck the economy. Why, yes, those are quite similar.

    September 26, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "so I can see what a priority it is for him to free an American wrongfully imprisoned in another country."

    Yawn. Take your "see, I told he's a secret Muslim hostile to Christians" nonsense back to WND.

    September 26, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    @ Tom I

    At least Wendy Davis voted for her cause, unlike Ted, the opportunist, who did not. He says he "represents"
    26M people. Better make that 25,999,999, because he most certainly does not represent me!

    September 26, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    CNN, why do you still have this teaparty Canadian citizens face on the ticker when 99% of the public wants him in the garbage can??????

    September 26, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. Thomas

    @tom l
    I love how the liberals on here will talk about Ted Cruz doing this for attention (as well as his stand against the ACA yesterday) but Wendy Davis was fillibustering because she believed in her cause. Too funny.

    ==============

    Wendy didn't read need to read us " Green Eggs and Ham ".

    September 26, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. Marie MD

    Rafael Cruz the new male screecher from Canada.
    This guy thinks that this is going to help him? Praying? Did he pray when he voted against food stamps for the poor, seniors, disabled people, veterans, children? Didn't think so.
    I take it that in his native land of Canada their government has no separation of church and state? Does he even know the first thing about American history?
    I would ink that in Canada they teach British history and he knows that Neville chamberlain was a conservative?e al know what hitler was.

    September 26, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. Mike in Texas

    tom l,

    I love how you don't know the definition of a filibuster. Filibuster – the use of extreme dilatory tactics in an attempt to delay or prevent action especially in a legislative assembly. This is what Wendy Davis was doing. She was filibustering to delay or prevent a vote on the abortion bill.

    Ted Cruz was not filibustering. Ted Cruz was talking. Ted Cruz speaking for 22 hours had not impact on Senate business. The vote was going to occur with or without Ted speaking.

    Now if Ted Cruz was truly filibustering you would have an argument; however he was not so you are beginning from a false premise, thus negating your whole comment.

    You should know better.

    September 26, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    @tom I, just to enlighten you Wendy Davis stood all by herself and did filibuster because she kept her comments about the issue at hand.
    She didn't bring her girlfriends in so that she could take a bathroom break or go eat. She didn't talk about hitler or Neville chamberlain. She didn't make a fool of herself like this Canadian cretin keeps doing day after day. He's doing more harm to his party than McCain and his screecher have done to it since 2008.
    Wendy Davis is more of a woman than this Canadian will ever be a man. To think that this thing is married and was allowed to procreate is scary in itself. Now go have some green eggs and ham and go back to the fat radio boy or faux news.

    September 26, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  24. Bill

    What a pair – Ted Cruz and that pompous clown Jordan Sekulow (ACLJ). My feelings are that if the idiot ignored State Department travel advisories on Iran, then he deserves anything that happens to him. Pastor or not, people need to heed these warnings.

    September 26, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  25. nintex

    This is political theater at its best. Cruz must be going for an Oscar with his play-acting and his dramatics. Why rent movies when you can just watch Cruz and his antics!

    September 26, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
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