American Journalist Roxana Saberi Given Eight Year Sentence in Iran

roxana-saberi-2An American journalist Roxana Saberi, 31, has been convicted of spying and sentenced to eight years in prison after a closed door trial.

Saberi was arrested late January and accused of working without press credentials. It was later kicked up to spying and the trial closed to witnesses. She received a one-day trial in yet another example of arbitrary Iranian justice. Of course, after the Bush Administration, we have little credibility in contesting closed trials or special tribunals in other countries.

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She appeared before an Iranian court behind closed doors on Monday in an unusually swift one-day trial. The Fargo, North Dakota native had been living in Iran for six years and had worked as a freelance reporter for several news organizations including National Public Radio and the British Broadcasting Corp.

“Saberi has been sentenced to eight years in jail. I’ll definitely appeal the verdict,” lawyer Abdolsamad Khorramshahi told The Associated Press. It was not immediately known when she was convicted.

60 thoughts on “American Journalist Roxana Saberi Given Eight Year Sentence in Iran”

  1. the idea that sex isn’t going on in Iran is ridiculous…there is a moderate section of iran who stayed after the 1979 revolution…they are pretty westernized…

    iran has to find itself….as does America in respect to girls and woman…

    as “system” says it would all be roxana’s fault and somehow her panties got wet without the help of someone else…

    beside the fact that there is blackmail rings going on inthe islamic countries to turn the girls into prostitution


  2. For one she was caught trying to be sneaky in a country that does not tolerate rats or moles~! Therefore, when your spying on the holy land of the koran, make sure your panties are dry!

    Maybe in america you can be free being a queer, but in iran they will hang you like a monkey from a tree.

  3. MatthewN:

    I hope so, I used to know many Iranian students at UM (MIZZOU) and they were, for the most part, very decent people. they deserved better than the Mullahs.

    As you say time will tell. But the Mullahs will have to go before any moderation or modernization is possible. By modernization I mean liberalization of their society.

  4. According to the latest news, Ms. Saberi and her legal team will be able to appeal to a higher court within the next three weeks. Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Laureate will join the legal team of the case. There is an interview with Ms. Saberi’s attorney at In it he restates his optimism that she will be set free upon appeal.

    In response to Bron: I agree that Ahmadinejad’s gesturing is mostly likely for show. It is obvious that Ms. Saberi is being used as a pawn in a political game and I am hopeful that this is a way for Iran to save face to the Western world and still present itself in a positive light to its own people. I have always been optimistic that Iran is capable of moderation and I still believe that their anti-Western, anti-Israel rhetoric is largely politicking to keep the hardliners in power, but this feeling has been on the wane. In the end, only time will tell.

  5. getplaning,
    Just saw virtually the same comment posted on the Bio thread under another name. Question? When you get the E Mail giving you the content to use do you stand and salute the screen shouting “Zieg Heil” even though you’re alone and it’s only an E Mail? I ask this because in your comments which are merely thoughtless quotes from Powerline and Drudge you show a need to bend your will to the authoritarian. I’ll bet pictures of Dick Cheney get you hot.

  6. MatthewN:

    “Ahmadinejad has personally intervened on Ms. Saberi’s behalf. He has ordered that she be able to reassert her defense during a full appeals process which will be, according to him, fair. This is very good news.”

    I believe the Soviet Union did this with Francis Gary Powers, they are called show trials. Did you know they have executed a young women around 16 for some rediculous crime. Iran is a totalatarian country and anything they do on an international level is for show. They are playing the west and using this women as a pawn.

    We the fair Iranian people, blah, blah. Our country is a model of democratic ideals, blah, blah blah. This trial is an example of our belief in the rule of law, blah, blah, blah.

    I think you cannot talk to these people, they are irrational, they only understand force or violence. Talking to them is like talking to a mugger, you have three choices-run, fight or give them your money.

  7. from what i understand…President Obama doesn’t read spanish and his books to read list is very long

  8. Posted from a blog: (Powerline) LOL

    I thought Barack Obama couldn’t sink lower than he did in his apology tour of Europe. I was wrong.

    “Obama and and new best buddy the EVIL CLOWN Hugo Chaves make friends as Chavez gives book to Obama that condemns America.

    unfriggin unbelievable. WHY DON’T WE JUST RUN THE WHITE FLAGS UP NOW”

    Powerline? Drudge Report? And you guys wonder why no one takes you seriously. It’s not hazing, it’s the ridicule you so richly deserve. Apology tour…

  9. Ahmadinejad has personally intervened on Ms. Saberi’s behalf. He has ordered that she be able to reassert her defense during a full appeals process which will be, according to him, fair. This is very good news.

  10. Mike S., that was an excellent synopsis of our historical relationship with Central and South America. The negative reactions to Pres. Obama’s recent statements to foreign heads of state bespeak real fear. George Bush successfully convinced many people that his conduct of foreign affairs was in furtherance of the will of God. The shock and anger some of the posters here have demonstrated over the fact that people in other countries might harbor nationalistic sentiments is truly astounding. It is as though their religion were being challenged. The president’s real sin in the eyes of the korns and leanns of the world is blasphemy.

  11. Diplomacy has always been about establishing relationships with other countries be they friend or foe. The Bush years redefined this into the American Psyche as “knuckle under to
    our will or we won’t talk to you, but reserve the right to attack you.” People who’ve never been in either war, or fights see this as acting strong, when in reality it is acting dumb and weak. The US defense budget is twice the size of all other countries put together. We have nothing to fear from anyone and yet we have acted as if the sky is about to fall whenever some country has defied our will. The US foreign policy establishment, primarily run by people with hidden economic agendas and unacknowledged desires to be seen as tough guys, has fostered this for years. When other countries respond to us with disdain and distrust we are “shocked” by their behavior and their “recklessness” of not kowtowing to our demands.

    Some here talk of the weakness of accepting Mr. Chavez’ book offering, which is a critique of the US policy towards Latin America. Ignored is the fact that the US policy there has always been one of economic imperialism, with specific tendencies to protect the interest of exploitative American
    companies, like United Fruit and Standard Oil. Up to recently Venezuela was known as the Rockefeller Ranch. The Rockefeller’s owned the most land in the country and of course controlled its’ oil. US troops, or the threat of same were used to minimize protests. The CIA rigged elections and assassinated dissidents. National independence was discouraged. Chavez seems over the top in his desire for a lifetime position, but we created the situation that makes him look so appealing to his countrymen.

    The same history is true of Cuba. Despite claims to the contrary the US/Mafia supported Trujillo was a vile man and was righteously overthrown despite CIA and Mafia intervention. Such intervention ran through Cuba’s history whenever a protest of the country’s exploitation arose. Castro, obviously is no democrat and no one should run any country for more than fifty years. However, he’s been a damn sight better for his people than Trujillo. Everywhere you look in the Caribbean, Central, or South America there has been a history of US intervention on the side of dictators favorable to US business interests and supportive of imperialistic US policies.

    This is also true around the world, first during the supposed “Cold War” where the US built up the USSR as a viable opponent in order to justify economic imperialism and massive transfers of wealth to defense contractors. This has also been true after the fall of the USSR and can be seen in policies around the world. What was different under Bush was the lack of subtlety with which these policies were carried out.

    The message this new administration is trying to give is that we no longer wish to run roughshod over you and demand your obedience and your expedience in bowing to our imperial needs. This is not weakness this is intelligence. How is it okay for Britain,France, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Israel etc. to have nuclear weaponry, but it is not okay for Iran and North Korea to? Some would argue that it is because these are unstable regimes, but seriously after clowns like
    Bush/Cheney are we that stable. Is Russia, China, Pakistan and India? The answer to nuclear proliferation is the elimination and interdiction of ALL nuclear devices, followed by the dis assembly of nuclear plants and replacements with safer, more viable energy sources. Otherwise the argument turns on “me good….you bad.”

    The Neocon stupidity was the envisioning of the US in all of its’ potential hegemonic, imperial glory. Stupid model, that was developed by people too ignorant to realize that it was based on their “tough guy” fantasies and hidden desires and not on a realistic road towards world peace and international cooperation.

  12. Budha:

    oops, I thought I couched it as a choice. You are undoubtedly correct that both are required.

  13. mespo,

    My contention is that one must be ready for both. I had only a little problem with your statement and that was the use of the word “or” as an operand. “And” seems more appropriate, but that could be because I’ve spent too much time with programming and computers. I tend to focus on details like that.

  14. Butters & Buddha:

    I read both your comments but I fail to see how the fundamental choice doesn’t still boil down to talk or tanks when the other doesn’t immediately and voluntarily bend to your will?

  15. korn,

    Spoken like someone who’s never had a poli sci class or traveled more than 60 ft. from mom’s basement. Or maybe you’re just coming undone.

  16. Korn,

    Isn’t that how you spell the hard-shelled Toasted Kernel? Or is it that Heavy Metal rock bad that hurts my ears?

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