He had been sentenced to eight years in an Iranian prison for ‘attempting to sway Iranian youth away from Islam’ and creating house churches.

Pastor Abedini was one of four Americans imprisoned in Iran who were exchanged for seven Iranians held or charged in the USA.

The release came after America and Europe lifted sanctions against Iran following the United Nations nuclear agency confirmation that the Islamic republic had met all its commitments under a breakthrough deal.

Pastor Abedini claims to have endured regular torture and beatings while behind bars.

However, in an email to supporters, Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, said she’d previously suffered ‘physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse’ from her husband due to his addiction to pornography.

The abuse had started early in their marriage and worsened during Saeed’s imprisonment, she said.

‘It is very serious stuff and I cannot live a lie anymore’, she wrote.

Some reports have indicated that Saeed was arrested for domestic abuse in 2007, given a suspended sentence of 90 days in jail, and placed on probation for a year.

Saeed has argued that both media reports and his wife’s testimony are untrue.

In a statement, Saeed said, ‘I have chosen not to respond in the two weeks I have been back in America because I believe personal issues are best dealt with personally...I am a sinner, saved only by the wonderful grace of God. While I am far from perfect — as a man or as a husband, I am seeking every day to submit to God as He moulds me into what He wants me to be.’