Ted Cruz joins WH protest for detained American pastor in Iran
September 26th, 2013
05:09 PM ET
10 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. Jacob Mathews

    What is President Obama's priorities. This is least of his worries. He well get involved in Treyvon Martin Case a boy who looked like him and acted like him. But the Pastor does not act or look like him so why help. In Benghazi the 4 brothers did not look or act like President so don't help. The pattern just keep on going. CNN the focus should be on our President not on Cruz.

    September 27, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  2. ann

    Hi,so now you worry about this paster.when florida paster burn holly quran.where were you all?

    September 27, 2013 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  3. Raphael Cruz

    We should drop a Cruz missile on Iran. It would shut down their government, destroy their health care, and leave their country in ruins.

    September 27, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  4. DuluthMN

    Our American President speak out on behalf of a Christian pastor in an Islamic prison? Not likely. Even when the pastor was imprisoned for the sole reason of being a Christian? Not a priority for this particular President. Do you wonder why that is?

    September 27, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Sniffit
    Turd Cruz.
    Keep calling them like you see them Sniffit.
    Turd Cruz.
    Exactly.
    Who's on their knees praying for US while Turd Cruz and his posse hold the entire country hostage.
    I feel bad for the pastor. Terrible thing to be imprisioned for your faith and beliefs.
    Our President, and by extension Americans are feeling imprisoned by the Republicans who refuse to negotiate in good faith and are willing to hold the entire country's credit hostage in order to have the President give up his belief, our belief, in Affordable Health Care.
    Pray for us too.

    September 27, 2013 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  6. kirk

    Tom, you've yet to ask yourself why she is endeared and Cruz is loathed? I can't wait for Cruz to get the gop nomination, and then we can show you what we think of your texas Senator.

    September 27, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  7. Ralph

    Ted Cruz is no man of faith. He's like every other politician. They lie, distort and manipulate the truth while in office to get the support of their political party. A man of faith wouldn't lie, manipulate or distort the truth when it comes to helping the people of this country to make it a better place

    September 27, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  8. TONE

    @tom
    The President did not capture the pastor iran did so turd cruz and his team can protest at the presidential palace in iran.

    September 27, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  9. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Rapheal Cruz is a loose connon.

    September 27, 2013 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  10. Digga

    ummmm......Ted? You don't get to put preconditions on diplomacy. You are a senator, not the President.

    September 27, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  11. kirk

    Just like benghazi, admitted the need for more security, denied funding for it, then blamed the dems, went so far as to have a gop testify extra funding would not have helped, and blame lack of security . Its one or the other

    September 27, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  12. kirk

    Pinning responsibility on the gop is like catching a greased hog, good luck!

    September 27, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  13. BooBooBubby

    Well it is about flipping time we hear about it. Cruz has no agenda other than Ted Cruz. This pastor has been held a long time and no one from top to bottom has done a blasted thing about it. His poor wife has fought a long and hard battle and only Christian groups have raised voices. the general public is probably just now hearing about itl. Suddenly the GOP gives a froot loop? We know you couldnt care less, GOP. Hopefully the man will be released in this short season of peace.

    September 27, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  14. TONE

    @tom
    The difference between him and Wendy Davis is he is a phony, he try to fillibuster or what ever he tried to do, more like trying to get attention, and then turn around and voted for the bill he is protesting a little bird tells me traitor.

    September 27, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  15. BobAD

    Cruz, It's all about ME!!!!!!!

    September 27, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
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