Jailed Pastor’s Wife Pleads to Meet With Iran’s Rouhani

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Friday, 04 Sep 2015 11:57 A

The heartsick wife of American pastor Saeed Abedini — jailed in a brutal Iran prison for the past three years — is pleading for a meeting with Hassan Rouhani when the Iranian president visits New York City this month.

In an emotional letter to the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations, Naghmeh Abedini asks for a sit down with Rouhani so she can make a personal pitch for her husband’s freedom, The Christian Post reports.


“For the last three years, our family has greatly suffered in the absence of my husband and my children’s father. Saeed is currently being held in Rajai Shahr prison in Gohardasht,” Naghmeh wrote, in the letter posted by the American Center for Law and Justice.

“Saeed is not a criminal. Saeed is not a threat to Iran or the stability of its government. Saeed is a husband and a father.

“Saeed is suffering from internal injuries incurred during his time in prison that Iranian doctors have indicated need surgery and hospitalization, but which he has not yet received.”

Saeed, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity in 2000, met and married Naghmeh, a U.S. citizen, two years later, with the couple settling in Idaho.


But during a trip back to Iran, he was arrested and sentenced to eight years in prison for preaching Christianity, allegedly undermining Iranian national security. He has suffered numerous beatings behind bars and has been hospitalized at times.

Naghmeh and her two young children Rebekka, 8, and her brother, Jacob, 7, met with President Barack Obama in Boise earlier this year to discuss the family’s agony and what the U.S. is doing to secure the pastor’s release.

She had asked that a Iran nuclear deal not be finalized until her husband was freed.

In her letter, Naghmeh also writes:

“The purpose of the United Nations General Assembly is to facilitate discussion and decision-making that advances peace and security around the world. Yet, my husband remains in prison for nothing more than the peaceful exercise of his faith.

“Therefore, it is with the same spirit of diplomacy and decency that governs the annual session of the U.N. General Assembly that I respectfully request a meeting …”

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