Wife Of Boise Pastor Jailed In Iran To Speak Before House Committee

Jun 1, 2015

The wife of a Boise pastor jailed in Iran will testify tomorrow before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Naghmeh Abedini will tell the story of her husband, Saeed, who has been detained in Iran since 2012.

Also testifying at the hearing will be three other Americans who have relatives jailed or presumably being kept in Iran. Sarah Hekmati, (sister of Amir Hekmati); Daniel Levinson, (son of Robert Levinson); Ali Rezaian, (brother of Jason Rezaian).

Hekmati, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen born in Arizona, was arrested on spying charges in August 2011. Rezaian, The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tehran, has been held since July 2014. Iranian authorities have not provided specific details about why he is being held. - The Associated Press

After the hearing, the committee will vote on a resolution calling on Iran to release Saeed and two other U.S. prisoners. The resolution also asks Iran to “provide any information it possesses regarding any United States citizens that have disappeared within its borders.”

A similar resolution, sponsored by Idaho Senator Jim Risch, passed 90-0 in the Senate in May.

Saeed Abedini was helping build an orphanage in Iran in 2012 when he was taken into custody. In 2013, he was tried and found guilty of undermining the national security of Iran. He was sentenced to eight years in prison. The charge stems from Abedini’s work from 2000-2005 when he helped create Christian house churches in Iran. He agreed to stop the practice at the request of the Iranians in 2009, but continued traveling to and from the country. 

Naghmeh Abedini lives in Boise with her two children.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

Copyright 2015 Boise State Public Radio