After being mauled by fellow prisoners, pastor Saeed Abedini said he is now facing threats in jail after US President Barack Obama approved a nuclear deal with Iran, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) revealed.
The law group—which represents Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, and two children back in the US—said Abedini was able to relay this information through his father who recently visited him in prison.
Abedini's father told ACLJ that Abedini felt threatened inside his cell as other inmates had been expressing anti-American sentiments after learning about the nuclear deal. The prisoners were opposed to any kind of deal between the US and Iran, the ACLJ said.
"Tensions are high inside the prison and he told the family member during today's visit that not only does he feel threatened, but believes he is now a target because he is an American citizen," the law group said.
Abedini, who is serving an eight-year jail term, also told his father that he had been subjected to beatings while in prison and denied medical care. He said last June 3, he was mauled by fellow prisoners. He said he was punched in the face near his left eye and nose and both his eyes were beaten black and blue, CBN News said.
However, Abedini said he remains hopeful despite his situation and feels assured that "God is in control" of everything.
Abedini gave his father a letter where he expressed his views further.
"I know that so many of you have felt that I have been left behind after a deal was reached with Iran and I am still not home," he said in the letter.
"I want you to know that as I wrote the thank you letter to President Barack Obama after he had visited my family in January of this year (which he read at the national prayer breakfast), that God is in control of all countries and leadership in the world when the body of Christ comes together in united prayer. He is in control and He is the One who beautifully writes the history over all governments, presidents, and any P5+1 negotiating team," Abedini wrote.
"We are all looking for a safer, more friendly world and because of this desire many of us are happy and others un-happy about the deal. Please join me in using these emotions that have been awakened to give fervor to united prayer for God's chosen people, America, and for the whole world," he added.
His wife Naghmeh, meanwhile, expressed disappointment that the release of Abedini and three other Americans was not made a part of the nuclear deal. She said though that this "makes sense." She said people place their faith in God and not on government officials, and this is what they are doing now.
"The ups and downs have really allowed the Lord to refine me and teach me to keep my eyes on him and my hope on Him instead of governments and officials," she told CBN News. "I want to believe the best for my family, for Saeed and for my children, but I continue to be in contact with the State Department and the White House and continue to pressure them that he [be] released immediately."