News » Citydesk

NY Times: 'High Diplomatic Drama and Near-Collapse' Before Prisoner Swap to Free Abedini

by

Naghmeh and Saeed Abedini - COURTESY ACLJ
  • Courtesy ACLJ
  • Naghmeh and Saeed Abedini


As Boise pastor Saeed Abedini spent his first full day of freedom after more than three years behind bars in Iran,  the world was just beginning to learn of the complexity of his release. The New York Times this morning described "the 14 testy months" that led up to the prisoner swap, in which Abedini and four other Americans were freed by Iran in exchange for seven Iranians being held by the United States.

Times reporters Peter Baker and David Sanger wrote Monday that the previous 14 months were highlighted by "turbulent talks punctuated by high diplomatic drama and multiple near-collapses that paralleled the final year of nuclear negotiations."

According to The Times, Iranian officials repeatedly berated their U.S. counterparts during the negotiations, chiding them for the 1953 CIA-backed coup and American support for Iraq in the countries' war in the 1980s.

The final hours of the negotiations featured the most drama, as more 11th-hour disagreements "bubbled up," according to The Times, with both sides making last-minute adjustments to the wording of the prisoner swap agreement.

Meanwhile, in Boise, Naghmeh Abedini wrote on her Facebook page that she had spoken to her just-freed husband and he was doing well. She added she had spoken to President Barack Obama and thanked him and U.S. diplomats for bringing her husband home.