News / World

Idaho pastor released from Iran violates restraining order

BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho pastor who was imprisoned for nearly four years in Iran will have to serve community service for violating a restraining order.

Saeed Abedini on Monday pleaded guilty to violation of a restraining order taken out by his estranged wife, Naghmeh. An Ada County Magistrate judge sentenced Abedini to 180 days in jail, but suspended all but five days. He will have to work off those days through community service, The Idaho Statesman reports (http://bit.ly/2lPr3hu ). Abedini was also fined $1,000, with $500 suspended, and placed on unsupervised probation for two years.

On Tuesday, Abedini declined to comment on the matter.

"This was a personal matter that I won't share in public," Abedini said. "I will write something in my book in the future."

No details if what happened in the May 26 incident when he violated the order were provided in court documents. Abedini's hearing was held in a judge's chambers. It was not open to the public and no audio recordings were made.

Two other counts of alleged violations of the restraining order on June 1 and 2 were dismissed in exchange for Abedini's plea.

Abedini was one of four Americans released in Iran under a negotiated prisoner exchange on Jan. 16, 2016. The U.S. agreed to free seven Iranians as part of the exchange.

The Boise man was detained for compromising national security, presumably because of Christian proselytizing. He was sentenced in 2013 to eight years in prison.

Naghmeh filed for legal separation from her husband the day he arrived back in Boise.

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Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com