Wife of US pastor jailed in Iran says he's innocent

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The wife of an American pastor who's been sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran says the Islamic regime views his Christianity as a national security threat.

Pastor Saeed Abedini's (sah-EED'- ah-beh-DEE'-neez) wife Naghmeh (NAHG'-meh) says her husband has worked with house churches in Iran and has shared his Christian faith, but has steered clear of politics.

She says he told his parents during a jail visit Monday that he's appealing the sentence handed down Sunday by an Iranian judge.

The 32-year-old pastor's wife and their two young children live in Boise, Idaho. She says they haven't seen him since June and pray every night that he'll be allowed to return home.

The U.S. State Department has called for Abedini's release and has condemned what it calls "Iran's continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion."

Sound:

223-w-30-(Steve Coleman, AP religion editor, with Naghmeh Abedini (NAHG'-meh ah-beh-DEE'-nee) wife of Pastor Saeed (sah-EED') Abedini)--The wife of an American pastor who's been sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran says the Islamic regime views his Christianity as a national security threat. AP Religion Editor Steve Coleman reports. (28 Jan 2013)

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225-a-15-(Naghmeh Abedini (NAHG'-meh ah-beh-DEE'-nee) wife of Pastor Saeed (sah-EED') Abedini, in AP interview)-"national security threat"-Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini, says Iran is punishing him for his Christian faith. (28 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *225 (01/28/13)>> 00:15 "national security threat"

228-a-19-(Naghmeh Abedini (NAHG'-meh ah-beh-DEE'-nee) wife of Pastor Saeed (sah-EED') Abedini, in AP interview)-"glimpse of heaven"-Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini, says the imprisonment has drawn them closer to God. ((note length of cut)) (28 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *228 (01/28/13)>> 00:19 "glimpse of heaven"

227-a-13-(Naghmeh Abedini (NAHG'-meh ah-beh-DEE'-nee) wife of Pastor Saeed (sah-EED') Abedini, in AP interview)-"a living God"-Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini, says God is giving them hope. (28 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *227 (01/28/13)>> 00:13 "a living God"

224-a-11-(Naghmeh Abedini (NAHG'-meh ah-beh-DEE'-nee) wife of Pastor Saeed (sah-EED') Abedini, in AP interview)-"to our family"-Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini, says she and her children are praying that Iran will free her husband. (28 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *224 (01/28/13)>> 00:11 "to our family"

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