Saeed Denies All Allegations
“Everything she said was untrue”, he told me unequivocally, repeatedly.
The pastor, recently freed from an Iranian prison, also stated that the allegations she made about the ACLJ’s involvement in crafting a narrative were also false.
“They deserve to be thanked, not attacked”, he said.
“All of the things Naghmeh has said about these things is untrue”.
“Naghmeh should answer these questions, not me.”
When Abedini was pressed for details about the abuse charges, he was unwilling to provide further information.
“If I go into details it will cause problems for the marriage.”
He also stated that Franklin Graham has instructed him not to speak to the media about these things because further conflict in the media would be detrimental to saving the marriage.
“I have answers for all these questions, but my first priority is my marriage”.
“I will let God defend me and let God be God”.
He repeated his desire to say nothing that would harm the prospects for reconciliation numerous times…as I pressed many questions that required specific answers.
Graham appears to be deeply involved in Abedini’s transition from captivity to home.
He did confirm that after the first six and one half months that he had a cellphone and was able to speak to his wife and children often.
He told me that this phone was “illegal” and cost his father somewhere between fifty and a hundred thousand dollars.
“It was very important for me to be able to connect with my children and encourage Naghmeh”.
He also said that Bob Caldwell of Calvary Chapel Boise was not the pastor who sent him out, nor was his pastor now.
He said he went into Iran as the director of Saeed Ministries, a non profit set up to plant churches and start orphanages.
Thankfulness was his theme for much of the conversation and his stated reason for granting me the interview.
He was effusive in his thanks to all those who advocated for him and he seemed genuinely moved by the efforts made on his behalf.
Abedini told me he doesn’t blame Naghmeh,the media, or himself for the current conflicts, but sees Satan behind all of the strife.
“Satan sees the platform I’ve been given and he’s attacking me because of it”.
Saeed also noted that his commission came from an in person visit from Jesus.
“Satan doesn’t want me to preach the Gospel and the cross as Jesus asked me to do when I saw Him face to face and turned to Him sixteen years ago.”
He told me that he doesn’t really have many speaking engagements lined up as his first priority is the restoration of his marriage and that will be where he puts his efforts for the near future, though she has yet to engage in counseling with him.
Saeed Abedini has reviewed this article and was allowed to make minor edits.