"There was not a meeting that took place, not one meeting that took place -- believe me, that's not an exaggeration -- where we did not raise the issue of our American citizens being held," Kerry said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday. "And in fact, it was the last conversation that I had with the foreign minister at the Vienna Center, right before we went out publicly. I talked to him the last time about that."
Amir Hekmati, Jason Rezaian and Saeed Abedini, who all have dual Iranian and American nationality, are in captivity in Iran, along with Robert Levinson, who is thought to be held because of ties to the U.S. intelligence community. As HuffPost's Akbar Shahid Ahmed reported, the Americans' families have spent months advocating for their release, and the Obama administration says it raised their cases consistently when it met with Iranian nuclear negotiators. However, there have been no signs yet that they are any closer to coming home.
Kerry said the U.S. is "hopeful" Iran will release the four Americans, and said the State Department is still working on bringing them home.
"We remain very, very hopeful that Iran will make a decision to do the right thing and to return those citizens to the United States, and we are consistently, constantly, even now, continuing to work on that," Kerry said.