The White House is pleading with Iran for the release of three American hostages, including Pastor Saeed Abedini.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest says President Barack Obama brought up the U.S. prisoners during a phone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani earlier this fall.
The president also raised the case of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared during a business trip to Iran's Kirsh Island in March 2007.
The United States believes the private investigator and father of seven was abducted and is being held in Iran.
The White House asked the Iranian regime to consider releasing the Americans on humanitarian grounds.