Family of freed Iranian-American pastor celebrates his release

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The wife of an Iranian-American pastor freed in a U.S.-Iranian prisoner swap is celebrating his release, but says “dark issues” await him at home. Diane Hodges reports.

Family of freed Iranian-American pastor celebrates his release

It was the day Naghmeh Abedini had been waiting for, when her husband, Saeed would be released from an Iranian prison.

The naturalized U.S. citizen was serving an eight-year sentence for setting up home-based Christian churches in his native country.

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) NAGHMEH ABEDINI, SAYING:

“The last three years I had tried so hard, but it seemed like every piece of good news came with disappointment.”

On Saturday, the disappointment ended, with a phone call from the U.S. State Department and she learned Saeed was one of five Americans to be freed in a prisoner swap with Iran.

She immediately shared the news with her children.

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) NAGHMEH ABEDINI, SAYING:

“It was just such an amazing moment of running to them after I hung up with the call with state, I just ran and said ‘daddy’s coming home, he’s free.’ They were jumping, dancing, it was…I wish I could have recorded it it, but I didn’t.”

While Naghmeh will be happy that the struggle to get her husband home is over, she says other troubles remain.

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) NAGHMEH ABEDINI, SAYING:

“The truth is, I’m proud of Saeed for having stood up for his faith all these years, but there are serious dark issues in our family that need to be resolved and that’s the next stage of the journey.”

But the couple will now be able to face them together.

Tags : release, celebrates, Pastor, Iranianamerican, Freed, family

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