A video uploaded to attorney Jay Sekulow's Facebook page on Tuesday provides audio from a phone conversation that he had this week with Saeed Abedini, the Christian preacher and American citizen who was held captive in Iran for three and a half years due to his faith.
Sekulow and his organization, the American Center for Law & Justice, have worked tirelessly since 2012 toward Abedini's release, recounting the horrific beatings and terrifying plight that the Christian leader faced inside some of Iran's harshest prisons.
The brief clip shows Sekulow calling the pastor after he was released on Jan. 16 as part of a prisoner swap between the U.S. and Iran.
"I'm glad to hear your voice," Sekulow said after Abedini answered. "I've not heard your voice."
A photo of Naghmeh and Saeed Abedini taken before his detainment in 2012 (ACLJ)
The pastor agreed, saying that he has been "waiting for that for so long," later thanking Sekulow for his support. The American Center for Law & Justice has also helped Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, throughout her very public battle to fight for her husband's release.
"I'm doing great. Today was like my first day or my life, so ... I was born again," Abedini told Sekulow. "Being born again, again."
Watch the touching video below:
The pastor concluded the call by telling Sekulow that he loves his "passion for the word of God."
As TheBlaze has reported, Abedini was first arrested in 2012 on charges stemming from meetings he had with other Christians inside private homes — an act that is not illegal in Iran.
Prior to the prison exchange, Naghmeh Abedini had been very critical of the U.S. government for starting negotiations for the Iran deal while her husband, among others, remained imprisoned in the Middle Eastern country.
“From day one, we had said that even before we started negotiating with Iran on the deal, we should have — as the United States of America — have said, ‘Release the American hostages, and then we can talk about the nuclear deal,’” she told The Church Boys podcast last summer, months before her husband's release. “I’ve never wanted Saeed part of the deal … having to think that we ever gave up anything for my husband in terms of such a big issue.”
Listen to that interview from last summer below:
Naghmeh Abedini was elated this week over the news that her husband would finally be released from prison, releasing a statement on Jan. 17 through the American Center for Law & Justice.
"This has been an answer to prayer. This is a critical time for me and my family," she said. "We look forward to Saeed's return and want to thank the millions of people who have stood with us in prayer during this most difficult time."
Abedini was among five Americans who were released from Iranian prison, with the U.S. agreeing to pardon or drop charges against seven Iranians in exchange.
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