People around the world have been anticipating the announcement of the Nuclear Arms Treaty with Iran, because this deal will affect every nation in the world. As we watch the Middle East implode, the idea of Iran having nuclear weapons is daunting, to say the least. The biggest concern for a number of people in the United States has been the four Americans imprisoned in Iran. These are not criminals, but innocent people who have been imprisoned for their faith or trumped up charges. For the families of Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini, Marine Amir Hekmati, Washington Post Bureau Chief in Iran Jason Rezaian and former FBI Agent Robert Levinson, this was the moment of truth. Would our leaders take advantage of the leverage we have to get their loved ones released? This week, we found out President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are leaving Americans behind.
Regardless of your position on this treaty, the idea of leaving innocent Americans in harm’s way, when we had the means to demand their release is unconscionable. How could our leaders make a deal with this nation while they are falsely imprisoning our citizens? Why would we sit down at the negotiating table with them without making their release a non-negotiable term of the agreement?
While many world leaders believe they have achieved something great making this deal with Iran, the American people have lost. We have lost four Americans. We have lost integrity. We have lost trust. We have lost faith in our leaders. All we have is the knowledge that four innocent Americans are being tortured in their prison cells. We are left with the very real possibility; they will never come home, and it did not have to be this way. We had the leverage. We had the upper hand and we folded.
I would implore believers around the world to hold these men and their families up in prayer. Pray unceasingly for them as they, more than anyone else, understand the real price we will pay if this treaty is upheld. Pray for the members of Congress as they go over the terms of the agreement. Pray the Lord would put the faces of these four Americans before their eyes, when they lay their heads down at night and when they wake every morning.
This is a tragedy of epic proportions, as the lives of these men hang in the balance, and their families suffer with each passing day they are imprisoned. Instead of crowing over this supposed “achievement” our leaders should be hanging their heads in shame, as they have left Americans behind in order to grasp some perceived fame. They should remember the words of Solomon: Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).
I ask you to write these names down and post them on your refrigerator or at your desk: Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, Jason Rezaian, Robert Levinson. Every time you see their names, pray for them and pray for their families. Do not leave them behind.
Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, (2 Thessalonians 1:11).