Published On: Wed, Sep 25th, 2013

Naghmeh Abedini uses chance meeting with Iranian President Hasan Rouhani to ask for Saeed Abedini’s release

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived at the United Nations attempting to be the face of a reformed Iran, a government which released 80 opposition prisoners.

The newly elected president said he would “take the opportunity to present the true face of Iran as a cultured and peace-loving country,” and he may even meet with President Barack Obama.

Pastor Saeed AbediniDuring this trip, Rouhani’s arrival in the New York hotel put him in the path of Naghmeh Abedini who seeking the President to ask for the release of her husband Pastor Saeed Abedini.

“The encounter occurred as Naghmeh was participating in an interview in the lobby of a New York hotel where she is staying. As it turns out, the Iranian delegation is also staying at the same hotel,” Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), shared in a press release.

“As Naghmeh was talking with a reporter, the Iranian delegation – with President Hassan Rouhani – walked through the lobby toward the elevators. Naghmeh approached the delegation and respectfully introduced herself to President Rouhani and speaking in Farsi asked him to release her husband who is imprisoned in Evin Prison because of his faith. She told the Iranian president’s delegation she wanted to deliver a letter that Pastor Saeed had written to the president pleading for his release.”

The president’s delegation apparently accepted the letter from Naghmeh and said that they would give it to Rouhani.

Saeed Abedini has been in Evin Prison in Tehran for a year now, and despite an international campaign pressing for his release, the Iranian Court refused to reduce his 8-year sentence earlier this year. Iranian officials have accused Abedini of endangering national security, but the ACLJ, which represents Naghmeh and their two young children in the U.S., says that Iran has targeted the pastor for his Christian faith.

“We are hopeful that President Rouhani will quickly act for Pastor Saeed’s release as he has done for other prisoners of conscience in Iran in recent days,” Sekulow added.




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