At the National Prayer Breakfast today, President Barack Obama demanded that the First Amendment rights of American citizens be respected abroad. Sen. Rand Paul has repeatedly urged the government of Iran to release American Pastor Saeed Abedini and has co-sponsored legislation and issued a letter to President Hassan Rouhani. Sen. Paul issued the following statement in the wake of President Obama's remarks:
"Saeed Abedini is an American pastor that has been imprisoned indefinitely due to his Christian faith. I am pleased to hear that President Obama will join my mission to free American citizens that are being persecuted abroad due to religious intolerance. I will continue to call on the government of Iran to release Abedini and all other individuals detained on account of their religious beliefs. I look forward to working with this Administration to ensure that our religious freedoms are protected and I will continue to do all that I can to defend American citizens from religious persecution abroad."