Iranian Media's Claim American Pastor to be Freed on Bail Denounced as 'Lie,' Attorney Says
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Jan 22
The wife of an American pastor imprisoned in Iran on charges of evangelizing denounced as "a lie" a report that her husband had been granted bail, Fox News reports. Iran's state news agency reported Monday that Saeed Abedini, who was born in Iran but now lives in Idaho, would soon be free. But the report, which came on the first day of Abedini's trial, was seen by his wife, Naghmeh, as just another cruel manipulation. "This is all a lie by the Iranian media," Naghmeh said. "This has been a repeated promise by the Iranian regime since Saeed was first thrown in prison on Sept. 26, 2012. We have presented bail. After the judge told Saeed's lawyer that bail was back on the table, the family in Tehran ran around in circles today to make sure Saeed was let out on bail. But again the bail officer rejected bail." She said her husband's attorney, Nasser Sarbazi, cautioned her that the report, first carried by the state-controlled ISNA news agency and picked up by the Associated Press, did not mean he was closer to freedom. "This is a game to silence the international media," she said. "The lawyer in Iran was asked to make a statement, but that was before the family's attempts today and before the regime again rejected bail. Dr. Sarbazi told me today that the regime is not dropping the charges against Saeed -- this is the only act that would allow Saeed to leave Iran and return to the U.S."