WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate has approved the nomination of Sen. John Kerry for Secretary of State.

Kerry replaces Hillary Clinton who is stepping down after four years on the job.

Idaho Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo are among the 94 who voted to confirm the senator who owns a large vacation home in Sun Valley.

Earlier today, Clinton laid out some of the difficult issues Kerry will have to navigate - such as Iran, with challenges that include its controversial nuclear program, and the wrongful imprisonment of a pastor from Boise.

In a written exchange being reported this afternoon by the American Center for Law and Justice, Kerry is calling on Iranian authorities to release that pastor, Saeed Abedini, and respect the universal right of freedom of religion.

Kerry wrote that in response to a question from Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

KTVB spoke to Saeed's wife last night and she was in close contact with the State Department, along with Idaho's congressional delegation, as local and federal authorities work for his safe release.

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