8. Eventually Helped Free Abedini
Although it took some time and many criticized the specifics of the approach, the Obama administration did successfully get the release of Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini.
Imprisoned for allegedly evangelizing Muslims, Abedini was one of four American citizens who were freed following negotiations and a cash payoff to the Islamic Republic.
"This is a major victory. We are incredibly grateful to the more than 1.1 million people who have joined us in fighting across the globe for Pastor Saeed's freedom," stated Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice.
"We're grateful for the millions of people who have stood with us in our ongoing efforts – both in this country and abroad – to secure his release. We have worked and prayed that this day would finally arrive. And now, Pastor Saeed can return home."