Kerry calls for Boise pastor's release

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Newly confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry has called for Iran to release Boise pastor Saeed Abedini, who was sentenced last week to eight years in prison for practicing Christianity.

In a written Q&A between Kerry and Senator Marco Rubio (R- Florida) obtained by the American Center for Law and Justice, he says that the State Department is in close contact with the Abedini family and is actively engaged in the case.

Here is the transcript from Tuesday:

Question: If confirmed, would you commit to echo as Secretary of State the National Security Council's call for Mr. Abedini's release?

Answer: The U.S. government remains concerned about U.S. citizen Saeed Abedini, who is detained in Iran on a charge related to his religious beliefs. Mr. Abedini's attorney had only one day on January 21, 2013, to present his defense. We remain deeply concerned about the fairness and transparency of Mr. Abedini's trial. I, along with the U.S. government, condemn Iran's continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion and call on the Iranian authorities to respect Mr. Abedini's human rights and release him. The Department of State is in close contact with the Abedini family and is actively engaged on this case