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Naghmeh Abedini to Iran: 'Saeed Is Not Collateral'


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani left the United States without meeting Naghmeh Abedini or the families of other Americans imprisoned or missing in Iran.

Naghmeh is the wife of Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is being held in an Iranian jail for his faith.

She had requested a meeting with the Iranian delegation to plead her husband's case, but Rouhani departed immediately after his speech before the United Nations Monday.

Saeed Abedini has served three years of an eight-year sentence for alleged activities against the state. Rouhani had said he would work to secure Abedini's release and that of the other Americans jailed by the Islamic regime if the United States would release 19 Iranians jailed for violating sanctions against Iran.

Naghmeh Abedini spoke by phone with CBN News Producer Steve Little. She said her first objective is to share the message of Jesus Christ with the Iranian delegation. Click play to hear the full interview and the rest of the message she wants to share with Iran’s leadership.

"My husband is not collateral," Abedini told The Washington Post. "He's a husband, a father, and he's broken no law. Yet Iran is treating him like a pawn in a game of chess."

Naghmeh said she is disappointed that the Iranian delegation did not respond to her request for a meeting and is concerned because the government has threatened to bring more charges against him.

"It's unbelievable," she told the Post. "The Iranian government is no different than the government that held Americans hostage in the 1970s."

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and former Marine Amir Hekmati are also imprisoned in Iran.

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