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Iran Convicts US Journalist of Spying

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posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 07:42 AM
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Iran Convicts US Journalist of Spying


news.yahoo.com

An American journalist jailed in Iran has been convicted of spying and sentenced to eight years in prison, her lawyer said Saturday, dashing any hopes for her quick release.

The verdict was the first time Iran has found an American journalist guilty of spying, and it was unclear how the conviction would affect recent overtures by the Obama administration for better relations and engagement with Washington's longtime adversary.

Roxana Saberi, a 31-year-old dual American-Iranian citizen, was arrested in late January and initially accused of working without press credentials. But earlier this month, an Iranian judge leveled a far more serious allegation, charging her with spying for the United States.
(visit the link for the full news article)


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[edit on 18-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]




posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 07:42 AM
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I can't help but take this as a politically calculated move in good timing. With Iran's election coming up in June, i can see this judge's new found label increasing support for Ahmadinejad. Putting myself in an Iranian's shoes for a minute, this news would make me focus on how the current government has successfully withstood the American and Israeli imperialists agenda during it's most trying times. Keeping in mind the recent threat from Peres and not so distant past with the U.S. supporting the Iraqi's against Iran and even further back with the installation of the puppet dictator Shah... no matter what my issues are with the current president, i can see under his leadership he has keep our country impervious to outside influences.

For those who need a primer to gain a current Iranian historical perspective...



From their experience in our underhanded dealings, we are the "terrorists", the aggressors... this conclusion can be accurately and conservatively made.

It's interesting to note the irony here, how with the bush administrations efforts these past 8yrs to scare us into voting their way, has indirectly strengthen Ahmadinejad & Chavez in their positions/careers.

news.yahoo.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 18-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]



posted on Apr, 19 2009 @ 04:48 PM
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A very interesting and relevant background worth noting for this case... Saberi was the former Ms. North Dakota and made it to the final 10 candidates of Ms. America 1998. She has a master's in broadcast journalism (Northwestern Univ) and in international relations (Cambridge Univ) and is currently working on yet another masters degree in Iranian studies. She's been living in Iran for six years and worked as a freelance journalist for various news orgs, including the BBC, before her press credentials were revoked... and despite losing her press status she stayed to finish a book on Iran and to study.

According to former BBC Tehran correspondent Frances Harrison, who remembers her as a very careful person. "She was a very cautious person and the kind of person who wore a headscarf even in diplomatic functions where there were no restrictions," she said. "She was careful about her reputation being a young, single woman living in Iran." She added: "She would know as a journalist that she would be under a lot of scrutiny - her phone would be listened to and she would be watched." Seems to me that a spy would find better cover under a less attention getting disguise.

How is it that such an educated person who is well read on iranian culture (who's dad is iranian), aware and noted as being care... bets pinched for buying a bottle of wine (an act banned under the country's Islamic law)? Seems that once they realized that she was no dummy they switched the charges to working as a journalist without a valid press card (revoked in 2006), and then switched once again to being a spy... and they want to locker her up for 8 years?

source: news.bbc.co.uk...

...and the plot thickens even more:



The deputy prosecutor for the Revolutionary Court had told Iranian news media that Saberi, who holds dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship, confessed to the charges.

Saberi's father, Reza, who traveled to Iran to visit his daughter and follow the trial, told the Agence France-Presse news agency:

"Roxana said in court that her earlier confessions were not true and she told me she had been tricked into believing that she would be released if she cooperated. . . . Her denial is documented in her case, but apparently they did not pay attention to it."

In an interview with NPR, Reza Saberi said his daughter wanted to go on a hunger strike "to draw the attention of the Iranian authorities who have sentenced her without justifiable cause."

The timing of the sentencing indicated that Iranian politics might be at play, including a move by conservatives to scuttle chances for rapprochement with Washington or to use the journalist as a bargaining chip for the release of Iranian officials held in Iraq on suspicion of spying.


source: www.latimes.com...



posted on Apr, 19 2009 @ 09:23 PM
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update:



Iranian President Asks Court to Reconsider Spy Case

TEHRAN — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a rare effort to intervene in the justice system, urged Tehran’s chief prosecutor on Sunday to fairly examine the cases of an Iranian-American journalist and an Iranian-Canadian blogger.

The Iranian-American journalist, Roxana Saberi, has been sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of spying for Washington, her lawyer reported Saturday. The other detainee is Hossein Derakhshan, a blogger who has been jailed since November without any official charges.

Mr. Ahmadinejad, who will be attending an international conference on racism on Monday and is expected to seek re-election in June, may be seeking to cast himself as a defender of human rights, analysts said. He may also be trying to prevent radical forces from sabotaging a possible reconciliation between Iran and the United States.

source: www.nytimes.com...


I see this as a prime political opportunity to show internally and externally that iran is a nation governed by fair and just laws. Sends a strong message to the iranian people that he is serious about their safety. Will be interesting to see how Ahmadinejad milks this to gain optimal spin for the election and in breaking the ice with the new US administration.


[edit on 19-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 11:37 PM
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Good news, she's been released and is back home...



In her first in-depth interview, Saberi tells NPR about the events that led to her arrest on Jan. 31, her four months in a Tehran prison, why she gave a false confession, and her take on evidence that was used against her that resulted in a speedy trial on April 13. Saberi, who lived in Iran for six years and reported for NPR among other news organizations, was sentenced to eight years in prison by an Iranian court.

In a turn of events, Saberi was freed May 11 after her sentence was reduced to a suspended two-year term. She tells NPR that to this day she doesn't know why she was arrested — or why she was freed.



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 02:12 PM
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In light of the U.S.'s swift handling of Saberi... the title of this article sums up the latest similar situation up smartly... North Korea journalist case highlights American hypocrisy

[edit on 10-6-2009 by The All Seeing I]



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