Following his release from Iranian prison where he spent more than three years of his life pastor Saeed Abedini is stepping back into the public light.
We were the first local television station Abedini spoke to. In the first part of our interview we showed you Tuesday, he detailed his imprisonment and abuse he suffered at the hands of the Iranian government. In part two, Abedini opens up about life beyond jail.
Reporter Jake Melder has the interview.
Melder: How has your adjustment period been, considering all the things that have happened? How has that played into your adjustment to life back here in American where you have more freedom and I’m sure you're trying to grow your ministry here.
Abedini: I can say my life after I got released is harder than when I was in prison because of the media and all the false accusations. After my freedom, people who prayed for me for years every night couldn't rejoice for my freedom because of the things in the media.
M: Could you speak to that? I know your letter went into that but some of the things your wife, Naghmeh, wrote aren't accurate. Could you speak to that?
A: What people need to know is that the things in the media about me are complete false accusations.
M: How are things - you said you have a good relationship with the children - but how are things with the family?
A: We are working on our marriage. There are so many different pastors and counselors involved. We are working on our marriage. But it's not as good as I thought it would be. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be. In the last six months my life has gotten harder, but I trust the Lord is in control. As he let me free of the worst situation in the world, Rajai Shahr prison in Iran, he can do it the same again today.
M: Where do you see your ministry right now? Where would you like to see things go in the next five years?
A: I’m going back to speaking at churches again and hoping America will turn back to the lord and praying for people and preaching for revival back here.
M: Do you ever see yourself going back to Iran or elsewhere in the Middle East?
A: I think I’ll do it one day and it would be a time that millions turn to Christ. But I think it should be different. The Iran intelligence police told me, 'we know you are going to come back again. The other Americans we are sure will never come back.' I told them I’m going to come back, but this time I’m going to come back with the U.S. army and they started laughing. I know I’m going to do that but I don't know how it's going to be. But it will be at a time when I can preach the gospel in freedom there.
Saeed says he's working on a book detailing his ordeal in prison...and wants to use that to expand his ministry. We reached out to his wife, Naghmeh for comment. She declined, saying for now she wishes to keep personal matters personal.