Pastor freed from prison in Iran to return to US Thursday

January 21, 2016 00:03
1 minute read.

A pastor from Idaho who was among five American prisoners released by Iran over the weekend will return to the United States on Thursday from Germany, his wife said on Wednesday.

"Saeed will be landing on American soil Thursday evening," Naghmeh Abedini said in a Facebook posting.

Saeed Abedini, 35, a naturalized US citizen, was detained in 2012. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2013 after being accused of harming Iran's national security by setting up home-based churches in his native country.

"He will spend a few days with his parents and then the kids and I will join him on Monday," his wife said. The couple have two young children.

The Americans' release coincided with the implementation of a nuclear deal under which international economic sanctions against Iran were lifted in return for curbs on Iran's atomic program. The White House offered clemency to seven Iranians who were convicted or facing trial in the United States.

Abedini, along with Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and former Marine Amir Hekmati, arrived at a US military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, on Sunday.

Also released by Iran were Iranian-American Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, who stayed behind, and American student Matthew Trevithick.

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