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U.S. Senate Calls On Iran To Free Jailed Americans

The U.S. Senate May 11 unanimously passed a resolution calling on Iran to release three jailed Americans and help locate a fourth.

The lawmakers urged Iran to free Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, and Jason Rezaian, and cooperate with the U.S. government to locate and return former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who went missing in Iran eight years ago.

Abedini, a Christian pastor from Idaho, has been in Iranian custody since September 2012 and is serving an eight-year sentence for undermining state security.

Hekmati, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen born in Arizona, was arrested on spying charges in August 2011.

Rezaian, The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tehran, has been held since July 2014 on espionage charges.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was particularly concerned about Abedini, who is accused of the "supposed crime of building and operating an orphanage," and has been beaten and held in solitary confinement.

"That's apparently how the Iranian regime deals with those who dare to show love and compassion to others," he said.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP