A Boise couple who went through the tribulations of more than three years apart — he in an Iranian prison, she fighting tirelessly for his release — have not been able to reconcile their differences since he came home earlier this year.
Saeed Abedini was one of five Americans freed from Iranian prisons in mid-January. His release was hard-won, but by the time he reached America the news was overshadowed by questions about how the White House arranged the deal, and a discussion of domestic abuse prompted by wife Naghmeh Abedini telling supporters Saeed had been emotionally and physically abusive toward her during their marriage.
Naghmeh announced on her Facebook page Tuesday that the couple will likely divorce after an attempt at mediation failed.
The public and personal struggles of the Abedinis, who have two young children, have been well-documented by media around the world since he was put under house arrest and later imprisoned in his native Iran in 2012. He was sentenced to eight years in prison for participating in Christian home churches.
Naghmeh Abedini’s many public appearances and meetings included a speech to the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2013. She met privately with President Obama when he visited Boise in 2015. That November, she stunned many with her allegations of abuse.
In 2007, Saeed Abedini pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault in Ada County Magistrate Court. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended, and placed on probation for a year. He shoved her several times during an argument at the couple’s home, court documents show.
Naghmeh Abedini filed a domestic relations case in Ada County on the same day her husband returned to Boise. Along with a petition for legal separation, she sought a temporary restraining order concerning the couple’s children and property. She told supporters on Facebook that she took the temporary legal action to keep her children in Idaho until the couple could resolve their issues.
Earlier this year, Saeed Abedina was arrested on three misdemeanor counts of violation of a restraining order. Those Ada County cases are still going through the court system.