Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Sunday, April 19, 2009

US 'Deeply Disappointed' as Iran Convicts Reporter

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/04/us-deeply-disappointed-as-iran-convicts.html

Obviously, if the US wants to do business with Iran, it will have to accept the legitimacy of Islamic justice. This was a great gesture of peace to the Americans, since ordinarily Saberi would have been raped before being murdered, as is customary.
 
US 'Deeply Disappointed' as Iran Convicts Reporter
Iranian court sentences US journalist to 8 years for spying; Obama 'deeply disappointed'
By ALI AKBAR
The Associated Press
TEHRAN, Iran
 
Iran convicted an American journalist of spying for the United States and sentenced her to eight years in prison, her lawyer said Saturday, complicating the Obama administration's efforts to break a 30-year-old diplomatic deadlock with Tehran.
 
The White House said President Barack Obama was "deeply disappointed" by the conviction, while the journalist's father told a radio station his daughter was tricked into making incriminating statements by officials who told her they would free her if she did.
 
It was the first time Iran has found an American journalist guilty of espionage — a crime that can carry the death penalty.
 
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.
 
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.
 
The journalist's Iranian-born father, Reza Saberi, told NPR that his daughter was convicted Wednesday, two days after she appeared before an Iranian court in an unusually swift one-day closed-door trial. The court waited until Saturday to announce its decision to the lawyers, he said.
 
Saberi's father is in Iran but was not allowed into the courtroom to see his daughter, who he described as "quite depressed." He said she denied the incriminating statements she made when she realized she had been tricked but "apparently in the case they didn't consider her denial."
 
Saberi's lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, told The Associated Press he would "definitely appeal the verdict."
 
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States was working with Swiss diplomats in Iran to get details about the court's decision and to ensure Saberi's well-being. She said in a statement the United States will "vigorously raise our concerns" with the Iranian government.
 
The United States has called the charges against Saberi baseless, and the State Department said Thursday that Iran would gain U.S. good will if it "responded in a positive way" to the case.
 
Obama has said he wants to engage Iran in talks on its nuclear program and other issues — a departure from the tough talk of the Bush administration.
 
Iran has been mostly lukewarm to the overtures, but Iran's hard-line president gave the clearest signal yet on Wednesday that the Islamic Republic was also willing to start a new relationship with Washington.
 
In a speech, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran was preparing new proposals aimed at breaking an impasse with the West over its nuclear program.
 
But Iran's judiciary is dominated by hard-liners, who some analysts say are trying to derail efforts to improve U.S.-Iran relations.
 
The United States severed diplomatic relations with Iran after its 1979 Islamic revolution and takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Relations deteriorated further under the former President George W. Bush, who labeled Iran as part of the so-called "Axis of Evil" along with Saddam Hussein's Iraq and North Korea.
 
Saberi's conviction comes about two months ahead of key presidential elections in June that are pitting hard-liners against reformists who support better relations with the United States. Ahmadinejad is seeking re-election, but the hard-liner's popularity has waned as Iran's economy struggles with high-inflation and unemployment.
 
Some conservative Iranian lawmakers played down Saberi's conviction, saying the verdict would not affect any ongoing efforts to build trust between the United States and Iran.
 
"Although there is a wall of mistrust between Iran and the United States, the judicial verdict won't affect possible future talks between the two countries. The verdict is based on evidence," said lawmaker Hosseini Sobhaninia.
 
Saberi's father disagreed, telling NPR, "I don't think they have any evidence and I haven't heard any evidence that they have made public."
 
Human rights groups have repeatedly criticized Iran for arresting journalists and suppressing freedom of speech. The government has arrested several Iranian-Americans in the past few years, citing alleged attempts to overthrow its Islamic government through what it calls a "soft revolution." But they were never put on trial and were eventually released from prison.
 
"The Saberi case is the latest example of how Iranian authorities arbitrarily use spying charges to arrest journalists and tighten the gag on free expression," said Paris-based Reporters Without Borders.
 
Meanwhile, NPR said it was "deeply distressed by this harsh and unwarranted sentence."
 
Iran has released few details about the charges against Saberi. Iranian officials initially said she had been arrested for working in the Islamic Republic without press credentials, and she had told her father in a phone conversation that she was arrested after buying a bottle of wine.
 
An Iranian investigative judge involved in the case later told state TV that Saberi was passing classified information to U.S. intelligence services.
 
Her parents, who traveled to Iran from their home in Fargo in a bid to help win their daughter's release, could not be reached by the AP for comment on Saturday.
 
Saberi's father has said his daughter, who was Miss North Dakota in 1997, had been working on a book about the culture and people of Iran, and hoped to finish it and return to the United States this year.
 
————
 
Associated Press Writer James MacPherson in Bismarck, North Dakota contributed to this report.
 
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
 
Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/04/us-deeply-disappointed-as-iran-convicts.html. Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment



<< Home


FREE EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION
Subscribe to
ZNN
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by groups.yahoo.com


Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israël in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israpundit
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Z-Word
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
UN-Biased
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Zionism
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog
Liberticracia
CNPublications
SEO

Reference
Zionism
Anti-Semitism
Anti-Zionism
Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Bible
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Islamism
Jihad
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Israel
Jew
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism
Russian

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Experimental
Isfake lobby
Mysterology

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products
Mezuzah

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]


RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory