The following statement was issued by Gov. Rick Perry on the impending execution of Pastor Youssef Nadarkhani:
"The Iranian government's recent decision to execute Pastor Youssef Nadarkhani for his refusal to "recant' his faith is unacceptable. There is no shade of gray or room for equivocation here: Freedom to worship is a basic human right, and the charges against Pastor Nadarkhani are an affront to the essential principles of the civilized world.
"We can only hope that President Obama, along with the United Nations, will work toward securing the release of Pastor Nadarkhani. Becoming a martyr for religious freedom should not be the only path out of Iran.
"President Obama has insisted that Iran's leadership was about to unclench its fist so it could hold our hand. But Iran only unclenches its fists to strangle freedom and the dissidents who dare to practice it.
"This administration's silence during the "Green Revolution,' when Iranian dissidents took to the streets, stands out as one of its greatest failures. That silence was interpreted by government authorities as indifference, and a brutal crackdown followed. Now, a regime responsible for complicating our efforts in Iraq, that has pledged to destroy Israel, that pursues nuclear weapons, and that turns its military against its own people, is once again reminding the world of its intolerance for any who do not adhere to its extremist, repressive ideology.
"I encourage the American people to contact their U.S. Senators and express their support for Pastor Nadarkhani, as well as their desire for the Obama Administration to work to secure his release."