U.S.-Iranian Swaps Pit Compassion Against Costs

January 19, 2016 2:11 AM

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U.S.-Iranian Swaps Pit Compassion Against Costs

WASHINGTON — When President Obama flew to Boise, Idaho, for a speech last winter, he met privately with the wife of an Iranian-American pastor held prisoner in Iran since 2012. Freeing her husband, he promised, was one of his top priorities.

A year later, Mr. Obama called Naghmeh Abedini. Her husband, Saeed Abedini, was free and would soon be coming home, the president told her. It was a short but emotional phone call. “I could see his love and compassion as he spoke last year and again today,” Mrs. Abedini wrote on her Facebook page on...

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