Release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani
Department SpokespersonOffice of the Spokesperson
The United States welcomes reports that Iranian authorities have released Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and finally allowed him to reunite with his family. This comes after nearly three harrowing years during which he faced a death penalty sentence on charges of apostasy--in clear violation of Iran's international human rights commitments.
Despite this welcome news, the status of religious freedom in Iran remains grave. Many more Iranians remain in prison and face persecution simply because of their faith. More than 100 Baha'is and members of the Sunni Muslim, Zoroastrian, and Gonabadi Dervish communities suffer in confinement, and we call for their immediate release. The United States will continue to stand with the people of Iran who struggle to have their fundamental human rights respected.