The White House Thursday condemned the Iranian authorities' reaffirmation of the death sentence for an Iranian pastor.
"The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms reports that Iranian authorities' reaffirmed a death sentence for Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani for the sole reason of his refusal to recant his Christian faith," said White House press secretary Jay Carney in a statement.
Describing the action as Iran's breach of "international obligations, its own constitution, and stated religious values," Carney voiced the US support for Nadarkhani and his family, Xinhua reported.
He criticized the Iranian authorities for disregarding religious freedom and violating rights of its citizen, calling on Tehran to immediately lift the sentence and release Nadarkhani.
Nadarkhani, 32, converted from Islam to Christianity when he was 19. In 2010, he was convicted of apostasy and remains in prison.