Iran’s foreign minister talks of possible relief for jailed Americans

A reduced sentence for two Americans jailed in Iran may be possible, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Jim Sciutto.

“We have various clemency measures in Iran that can be introduced, happened in the past, can be introduced again in these cases,” Zarif said in the interview this week from Davos, Switzerland.

Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq, was arrested in Iran in August 2011 and held on espionage charges.

The Obama administration has said he is not a spy.

Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor is also jailed, accused of proselytizing Christianity during a trip to Iran. He was accused of attempting to undermine the Iranian government and endangering national security.

Abedini’s family says he is behind bars in a dangerous prison.

President Barack Obama pushed for the release of Abedini and Hekmati when he spoke on the phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in September.

Still, Zarif said the decision for clemency does not rest with him.

“That is something for the judiciary to decide,” he said.



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