WASHINGTON -- Idaho Sen. Jim Risch is questioning State Department officials on the latest efforts to release Boise Pastor Saeed Abedini.

Officials say Saeed has been sentenced by the Iranian government to eight years in prison on a charge the Iranian government calls threatening national security.

Abedini is one of three Americans being held in Iran.

In Washington, D.C. Wednesday, Risch said he knows this is a difficult situation but one that needs to be revisited often.

On behalf of Idaho, I want to communicate to you how incredibly important it is to us and we want to enlist you, as I know you have done, to make every effort you can to secure him, said Risch.

Back in March, Secretary of State John Kerry released a written statement calling for Saeed's release.

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