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Iran Jails U.S. Journalist for Spying

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18 Apr 09 | AJE and BBC

An Iranian court has sentenced a US journalist to eight years in prison on charges of spying for the United States, a defence lawyer has said.


Roxana Saberi, 31, was sentenced on Saturday following a trial that was conducted behind closed doors.

“She has been sentenced to eight years … I will appeal,” Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, Saberi’s lawyer, said.

Saberi, who has US and Iranian nationality, has been detained in the Evin prison in Tehran since January.

Saberi was sentenced despite calls for her release from Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, and diplomatic overtures to Iran by Barack Obama, the US president.

The US called the charges against Saberi “baseless and without foundation” and demanded her immediate release earlier this week. >>>

Obama dismayed by Iran sentence

The US has expressed dismay after a court in Iran jailed an Iranian-American journalist, Roxana Saberi, for eight years on spying charges.

Ms Saberi, 31, was sentenced after a secret one-day trial in Tehran.

President Barack Obama “is deeply disappointed at this news,” his spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Correspondents say the case will have serious implications for US-Iranian relations at a time when Mr Obama has reached out to the Tehran.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier expressed her disappointment at the sentence.

She said the US would vigorously raise its concerns about the case with Tehran.

Washington, which has no diplomatic ties with Iran, was working with Swiss diplomats in Tehran to obtain details about the court’s decision and ensure Ms Saberi’s well-being, she said.

Diplomatic setback

The verdict came despite calls by the Obama administration for Ms Saberi’s release and diplomatic overtures to Iran after three decades of severed ties. >>>

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Written by Editors

18 April 2009 at 6:07 pm

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