BOISE -- News media agencies in the United States and Iran have given conflicting reports about the status of a Boise pastor held captive by Iranian authorities.
The American Center for Law and Justice says Saeed Abedini remains under custody, accused of "attempting to undermine the Iranian government by creating a network of Christian house churches."
The ACLJ reports that Abedini is undergoing trial, and still awaiting judgement by notorious Iranian judge Pir-Abassi.
However, earlier Monday, the semi-official Iranian ISNA news agency said officials had agreed to release Abedini, and that he was scheduled to be freed on a $116,000 bond. The report was picked up and spread by the Associated Press.
Abedini's wife Nagmeh reportedly told the ACLJ that report was false:
This is all a lie by the Iranian media. This has been a repeated promise by the Iranian regime since Saeed was first thrown in prison on September 26, 2012. We have presented bail. After the Judge told Saeed’s lawyer that bail was back on the table, the family in Tehran ran around in circles today to make sure Saeed was let out on bail. But again the bail officer rejected bail. This is a game to silence the international media. The lawyer in Iran was asked to make a statement, but that was before the family’s attempts today and before the regime again rejected bail. Dr. Sarbazi told me today that the regime is not dropping the charges against Saeed – this is the only act that would allow Saeed to leave Iran and return to the U.S.
It's not clear what will happen next to Abedini. You can read the full report by the ACLJ, and stay updated with pastor Abedini's status by visiting the ACLJ online.