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Wife Of American Pastor Freed By Iran Seeks Legal Separation

The wife of Saeed Abedini, an American pastor freed on January 16 from an Iranian prison as part of a prisoner swap, is seeking to legally separate from her husband.

On the same day Abedini returned to his home in the U.S. state of Idaho, court documents show that his wife, Naghmeh Panahi, filed a petition for separation.

Naghmeh Abedini previously told supporters that her husband had been abusive and suffered from a pornography addiction.

She told Reuters on January 27 that her husband had threatened to end their marriage if she did not take steps to repair his public image.

"I sincerely had hoped that this horrible situation Saeed has had to go through would bring about the spiritual change needed in both of us to bring healing to our marriage," she said on Facebook. "Tragically, the opposite has occurred."

Saeed Abedini, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was jailed by Iran in 2013 for allegedly compromising Iran's national security by setting up home-based Christian churches there.

He was one of five Americans released in a prisoner exchange as Washington lifted sanctions on Tehran in return for Iran curbing its nuclear ambitions.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP