The campaign against the nuclear deal with Iran in the US is picking up speed, appealing to American hearts in an effort to diminish public support for an agreement many deem unsatisfactory.
One of the voices in the campaign, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), has endeavored to remind us all that some aspects of the deal should not be supported, by anyone – namely, the continued captivity of four US hostages (“prisoners”) in Iran.
Earlier this month, UANI released a video titled “Leave No Man Behind,” in which the four captives were introduced and their photos displayed against a somber black background – along with information on the reason for their imprisonment (according to Iran, that is) and the length of time they have spent in captivity.
First came Robert Levinson, described in the video as “the longest held hostage in American history,” held over eight years; then came Marine veteran Amir Hekmati, “detained on bogus espionage charges,” and pastor Saeed Abedini, both held for over three years; and finally, Jason Rezaian, whose tortuous imprisonment – now over 400 days long – we have been following closely here on Iran Media Focus.
These very human portraits of the men left out of the nuclear deal (and, no doubt, the celebrations that followed), the UANI hopes, will move the American public to learn more about the “unjust, inhumane” captivity of the four, as well as demand their release as part of any deal signed between their country and Iran. Why? Perhaps because as long as the calls for their release are relegated to newspaper op-eds, rather than vocalized by an American public determined to secure their release before it agrees to support any deal, Iran will be able to go on dismissing demands to free the four and insisting – just as it did this week – that their “exchange” is simply “not on the agenda.”