Update January 16, 2016: Iran released three of the American prisoners listed here as part of a prisoner exchange involving seven Iranians who were held for sanctions violations. Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, and Jason Rezaian were released along with one other American.
This concurrent resolution outlines U.S. policy regarding American citizens being held as prisoners in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
It calls for Iran to immediately release three U.S. citizens that are being held as prisoners, and cooperate with the U.S. in locating and returning Robert Levinson who is presumed to be a fourth prisoner. Further, it states that the U.S. should undertake every effort using every diplomatic tool at its disposal to secure their immediate release. Among U.S. citizens being held as prisoners in Iran are:
Saeed Abedini of Idaho, who has been detained in Iran since 2012 on charges related to his work and beliefs as a Christian pastor.
Amir Hekmati of Michigan, a former U.S. Marine who was detained in 2011 while visiting his Iranian relatives and was sentenced to 10 years in prison for espionage.
Jason Rezaian of California, who is a Washington Post journalist that was granted credentials by the Iranian government. He was detained in 2014 and has been held without trial.
Robert Levinson of Florida, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) official who disappeared in Iran in 2007 and is presumed to be a prisoner. He is the longest held U.S. citizen overseas in American history.
As a concurrent resolution, this bill (even if it passes both chambers) does not have the same powers as a law. These measures are non-binding, don't require presidential approval, and are generally used to formally recognize something.