saeed-abediniSpring has brought new reason to hope for the release of Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen shackled and imprisoned in Iran. The Persian New Year “Nowruz,” which began on the first day of spring, is a 13-day celebration of the rebirth of nature, but it’s also when Iranian prisoners are historically granted amnesty. The Iran Daily Brief reported 12 prisoners were released March 20. Although there is no sign yet of clemency for Abedini, politicians and religious leaders remain hopeful. “Pastor Saeed Abedini should be released from prison immediately. So, too, should all those languishing in Iranian prisons for merely practicing their faith or expressing their political views,” David Brog, executive director for Christians United for Israel, the largest pro-Israel organization in America, told WND. Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry told WND: “I join pastor Abedini’s family in praying for his health, safety and immediate release.” In a phone interview, Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, said he can’t comprehend how the president of the free world can seemingly look away while Christians, including Abedini, are jailed in hostile countries for their religious beliefs. At the same time, the U.S. has released prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. MORE