Roxana Saberi

Iran jails journalist as US spy

BBC -- An Iranian-American journalist branded a US spy has been jailed for eight years by Iran after a brief trial held behind closed doors.

Roxana Saberi, 31, who was arrested in January and went on trial this week, denies the charge and plans to go on hunger strike, her father said.

Ms Saberi has reported for a number of foreign news organisations including the BBC, NPR radio and Fox News.

The US Secretary of State said she was "deeply disappointed" at the verdict.

The journalist originally faced the less serious accusation of buying alcohol, and later of working as a journalist without a valid press card.

Then, in a period of less than two weeks, the charge of spying was introduced, and she was tried by the Revolutionary Court and sentenced.

No evidence of espionage was made public >>>


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anonymous fish

i wasn't implying that YOU have called anyone

by anonymous fish on

a "dumb american".  i've rarely heard you address anyone directly with a comment like that.  i'm talking about others here on  vile and vicious people who talk of other nationalities with such hatred and of americans with such distain.  there is a HUGE difference between living in and being proud of your country and being able to acknowlege her faults... and someone who lives here for reasons which have NOTHING to do with their appreciate of the US... feel free to slander and demonize everything about the US and the freedoms under which they can EVEN make these remarks. 

there is no comparison between resenting those who live here under such conditions and the money spend defending other countries.  one is a social and nationalistic issue (at least for me) and one is a policitial and global issue. 

why you're going off into the israel issue, i don't know.   i'm not going to go there.  you have your opinions and i have mine.  regardless of the very viable issues you mentioned, israel is a necessary ally in the middle east and she will be and should be supported... TO A CERTAIN EXTENT.  that's all i'm going to say. 

americans have been involved in virtually every military action since our very beginning.  call it arrogant... call it whatever you want.  but since we fought for and won our OWN freedom against the british, we have gotten a reputation for being bullies.  i really don't care what you or anyone wants to call it.  we ARE largely responsible for the success of WWI and WWII and why you're not speaking german or russian today.  i take very personally any criticism of how arrogant americans are.  people talk about our "history" as if WE are 2500 years old.  my take on it is... if WE have achieved democracy in our relatively short history and if WE have progressed from the terrible history of racism to elect an african american president and if WE have progressed from such bias against women to have a potential woman president and the most successful percentage of women in education and business.... then i say... screw YOU to anyone who supports a government which taken its people BACK IN EVERY REGARD CONCERNING HUMAN RIGHTS and then has the balls to criticize the US.

don't waste your time trying to twist this into an anti-iranian thing.  (i don't mean you specifically Nadia) it's anti-IRI.  it's anti-hypocrite.  it's anti-double standards.  it's anti-hatred and bigotry.  but it isn't anti-iranians and i dare anyone to say it is.  you better be prepared to back that up with something more than pathetic words of hate.  there are bad americans and good americans.  there are bad iranians and good iranians.  i despise bad americans and i despise bad iranians.  i simply despise bad PEOPLE.

we've come a long way baby.

yes, we need to draw back our intervention in every single issue in the world.  i'd MUCH rather our monies be spent on victims of katrina and the homeless in LA and the poor in south carolina and millions of other social issues that need to be resolved here FIRST.  but i'll back up the intention of the United States of America with that little statue sitting in new york harbor...

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez

Pride in the U.S.

by Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez on

Having pride in the country that you were raised in and making them accountable for their actions is another thing. It is why the founding fathers established the Declaration of Independence and Bill Rights.

They left an oppressive government and many have since died to protect Americans right of many freedoms enjoyed by many. My family has many that have proudly served to defend their country.

I have never called anyone a "dumb american" or "vile western country".

Also, saying "if you don't like it here then...." does not resolve the social issues that need attention while millions of dollars are spent to defend other countries rather than allowing them to resolve their own issues with their own money and people.

Why should sooooo many Americans lose their lives for another country? Too many soldiers are returning in body bags. One must question the actions of the government and demand accountability......viable solutions.



anonymous fish


by anonymous fish on

i confess i need to perfectly understand in my own mind the difference between assimilate and become accultured in that i've had to do neither.  i'm not proud of everything my country has done but i love and support the US with all my heart and soul.  i was utterly and completely insulted because of my "pride in the place where i was born".  it does nothing more than make my pride that much stronger and my awareness of the double standards that much more obvious.  i just hated seeing it in you too whose family has prospered and lived under the freedom of speech and the opportunites offered by the US.  perhaps you could have gone elsewhere and achieved the same successes with the same freedoms... and more!  who knows.  with making any refernce to you AT ALL, you very rarely hear much appreciation for that fact.  just alot of "dumb americans" or "vile western culture" comments from those who DO live here.  you know what they say...if you don't like it here... :-)

Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez

Anonymous Fish jan

by Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez on

I guess, I will need to start labeling my comments again like I used to:

 (sarcasm)  :o)

I can't seem to convey it very well. I like to tease Dear MiNeum71 about how great he thinks Europe is. No country is perfect.........

To be honest I consider myself accultured to North American culture and not Assimilated.


anonymous fish

well, ok then

by anonymous fish on

because that dude is seriously f'd up...:-))


Great Track,

by MiNeum71 on

I found this track just now, a live version of Dariush´s masterpiece Dast-haye To, maybe the best way to express feelings to Iran:




Dear "anonymous fish",

by MiNeum71 on

My generalization referred to the comment Kaveh by Davood_Banayan Wed Apr 22, 2009 01:41 AM PDT and was therefore, so I hope, correct. But you are right, is free from generalizations. Silly me!  ;)


anonymous fish


by anonymous fish on

and even MORE immigrate because of the opportunities and the freedom that america offers.  they are absolutely clear on what they want and why they are coming to america.  "no one really likes the US" is not a comment referring to policies of the US.  it is a generalized and negative statement about the US.  generalization is something that is apparently not allowed on, didn't you know?  :-))


Dear "anonymous fish",

by MiNeum71 on

Many people immigrate to the States because either they have wrong expectations or their home countries are even worse. I´m not one of those US-bashers, but as an Iranian-European I feel free to criticise the policies and societies when I think this should be done ;)


anonymous fish


by anonymous fish on

dude... chill out!   listen, if anyone should feel insulted by it would be me...:-)))  but you've got some very wrong ideas going on and if you ARE american, i hate to see you spreading this feeling and representing americans.  i don't know or care if you're all the people kaveh says you are either.

why would you say something as dreadful as "iranians are filthy animals"?  some are despicable, yes.  just as there are despicable americans or europeans.  i think it's more the regime that is despicable.  please don't suggest that all iranians are evil.  it's simply not true and no real american would feel that way.  not if we don't want people despising us!

i appreciate that you love america and i agree that as an american, your loyalty SHOULD BE TO AMERICA.  but NO ONE should feel that they can love only one country.  i'm american but i'm married to an iranian and i love his country and his hamvatans.  not the regime and maybe not ALL iranians.  but then again, neither does he.  :-)

"thank god for free oil" ????????  what the hell?  dude... do you really think we should get anything for free?  it's THEIR freakin' oil for gods sake.  it ain't

also.  it's not YOUR country.  there is NO ONE more vocal about the hypocracy and double standards i see on about their "americanism".  NO ONE.  but you're picking on the wrong man when you talk about kaveh.  he's the LEAST hypocritical person on this site about this issue.   have you heard of a little thing called "freedom of speech"?  it's one of the many things that makes america so great!  why would you possibly suggest that someone doesn't have the right to criticize america?  the problem I have is those who like to criticize the US freely and viciously but then say no one else can criticize iran.  those double standards are the ones i abhor. 


Mi.  i thought you were iranian.  you're european?  and for a country that no one seems to like, it sure does have a large immigration percentage... :-)

natalia.  i guess i'm a little disappointed that you felt you had to jump on the "bash the US" bandwagon... for no apparent reason. 

Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez

Did someone already post Shirin Ebadi to represent Ms. Saberi?

by Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez on

I just got the following link on my twitter account from SCE

Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi to Defend Roxana



People are being jailed in

by PolakMaly (not verified) on

People are being jailed in the USA for being poor:

Edwina Nowlin, a poor Michigan resident, was ordered to reimburse a juvenile detention center $104 a month for holding her 16-year-old son...

When she explained to the court that she could not afford to pay, Ms. Nowlin was sent to prison.

Not only was Nowlin under orders to pay a fine stemming from someone else's actions, but she had been laid off from work and lost her home at the time she was ordered to "reimburse" the county for her son's detention.

...she was held in contempt of court and ordered to serve a 30-day sentence. On March 6, three days after she was incarcerated, she was released for one day to work. She also picked up her paycheck, in the amount of $178.53. This, she thought, could be used to pay the $104, and she would be released from jail.

But when she got back to the jail, the sheriff told her to sign her check over to the county--to pay $120 for her own room and board, and $22 for a drug test and booking fee.

Even more absurd, Nowlin requested but was denied a court-appointed lawyer. So because she was too poor to afford a lawyer and denied her constitutional right to have the court provide one for her, she couldn't fight the contempt charge that stemmed from her poverty. And her contempt conviction only added to her poverty, as the fines and fees she was obligated to pay now multiplied.



Rajab, you did not answer my questions but ...!


I believe you DID understand the issue I am raising.  Firstly, you seem to operate on the principle of either/or.  One is either against the IR or for the IR, either approves of everything or opposes everything. either is here because of having run away or should return to live there.  So you are making judgement and implicitly branding individuals despite your own prescriptions of justice.  

You say, "I, or anyone else in a civil society IS by default innocent UNTIL PROVEN guilty. The burden of proof is on the accuser not the accused". I would then ask again whether you would extend the same concern about justice and the application of due process to the Iranians arrested and kept in jail and tortured in Iraq, without charge?  Or would you apply the same concern about the impossibility of proving a negative vis a vis Iran's nuclear programme?  

In relation to Saberi, like yourself, I would like to see the due process of justice applied and if no charges can be proven against her, she is freed without delay.   I would also like to see the shadow of sanctions and war lifted from my country with the application of international due process of justice. That will undoubtedly improve the civil society in Iran. 







Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

Carpenter, Milani, Cohen, Niavarani, Smith, Tehrani;

If you promise to take that flight, and make it one-way, I'll pay for the ticket. I can get you a really nice deal.

"Multiple Personalities For One Low Fare"


Free Ms. Saberi

by Davood_Banayan on

Americans for a Democratic Republic in Iran.

Free Ms. Saberi.

The Barbaric actions of the Islamic Republic of Iran should be stopped!

Free Ms. Saberi.

She is an American.

We don't need another "444 days" fiasco.

If the Iranian Government and 70 million Iranians don't free my fellow American, Ms. Saberi...

I will take the next flight to Tehran with my American Passport and shove a stick up the rear hole of 70 million Iranians who have stood by and watched Ms. Saberi being tortured.

You filthy Animals!  

Free my fellow American.

Ms. Saberi is a Supergirl...


3000 years of Human Rights violations and the Iranian Government hasn't learned yet to be civilized!!!

Roxanna Saberi is a beautiful American with Turkeman ethnic featutures.


Kaveh Nouraee

This poor woman

by Kaveh Nouraee on

is yet another example of the IR's oppression of the people.

And now this a**hole Antarinejad is "requesting" that Ms. Saberi be granted the opportunity to present a "full defense" of the charges against her.

A full defense against manufactured charges?

I'm not sure what's worse...this farce that the IR is selling or the fact that people are actually buying this crap.



by Rajab. (not verified) on

No offense, but I do not think you understood the main point in my comment. So I have to repeat to address both points that you raised.

(a) ANYONE, Roxana, you, I, or anyone else in a civil society IS by default innocent UNTIL PROVEN guilty. The burden of proof is on the accuser not the accused. That applies to anyone in a civil society; that is why IRI is not a civil society.

Have you even been to traffic court? The judge dismisses the case of a speeding ticket in a heart beat if the issuer of the ticket is not present or is not able to prove that the accused was speeding, e.g., by reading of radar gun or tail-gating of the accused, etc. Spying is a heavy charge and the fact that you and I do not know means that she is innocent by default. She does not have to do anything to prove her innocence; that is given. The burden of proof is solely on the accusers, i.e., the IRI; and for I and you to repeat those accusations, the proceedings should be open, which are not.

I had not read your comments before, so I do not know if you are pro-IRI or against. If you approve of the behavior of IRI of the past 30 years, then good for you, but you should be able to take the medicine that you prescribe yourself, i.e., live in iran.

If you are against, then you should try to see how rule of law operates, and see if 30 years of IRI has built a country that all of us have run away from and the rest are lining up behind embassy doors to exit if they can. You seem to give more weight to a regime with blood of 40,000 iranian youths on their hands than the rule of law and logic that all are innocent until proven guilty.

(b) She is not accused of working without license. Buying wine and working without license were informal charges. Do you know why these charges were not brought up? Because (1) She does NOT drink alcohol [see News hour tonight on PBS about her] so accusing her of buying wine was rediculous. (2) Reporting without license is NOT illegal according to IRI laws. If you do not have license, you will not be let in the places that journalists normally go, like secure buildings or seeing poeple in leadership position. License is only for security reasons, NOT required for reporting. So those accusations do not pan out.



by PolakMaly (not verified) on

Thank you for your comments. You have much wisdom and understanding in your words. To answer your question I consider myself a citizen of the world. I tend to follow world events and try to keep an open and honest perspective on what really happens. Of course that can be difficult at times without having all the information and facts and everything always changing. Perhaps my first comments about Ms. Saberi have seem somewhat arrogant, but my intention was to bring awareness. She is very lucky that she is receiving so much international attention as well as support. However, there are many more cases like the Delara girl, et al that receive little or no attention. Our brothers and sister are being oppressed, incarcerated, tortured, and killed as we speak. This is a worldwide occurrence and has no political boundaries. There is no doubt of Ms. Saberi is innocent. After doing a thorough evaluation of Miss Saberi’s credentials and work, she sincerely believed in doing the right thing, and she is a victim of the very foundations that instead of uniting our civilization, divide it. Although sometimes the best of intentions can turn into a nightmare, or as you say a horror movie. Best, P.


Rajab, re proving the negative!


This issue and what I am saying has nothing to do with 'proving a negative'.  If you can indeed read and digest logic you will comprehend the point I am making.  I said she may or may not be a political pawn in the internal politics of the IR and currently we are not in a position to make a categorical statement about her innocence or guilt. In fact there is circumstantial evidence against her in that she has not had a journalist pass in Iran with all the restrictions and dangers that she as a 31 year old journalist and student of international relations must have been aware of!  Still that might have been due to stupidity than anything else.  What do you think the US would do in the case of an Iranian working against their security measures without a necessary visa or pass?  Have I heard you squeaking a beep in relation to Iranians arrested in Iraq with no charge??????????!!!!!!!!!  No worries about injustice and the impossibility of proving a negative there?

As far as your hypothesis of accusing ME of being a spy (for IRI) and my inability to prove the negative, I (and others) have been repeatedly accused by some jerks, such as Fred etc, on this site.  I have never witnessed you becoming concerned about the injustice of spurious accusations and the difficulty to 'prove a negative'.  Why?

rosie is roxy is roshan


by rosie is roxy is roshan on

Is she innocent? Doesn't her photo scream out innocence not only of wrongdoing but innocence itself? Some Mata Hari she is. Wouldn't her innocence convey a much stronger message about the hardball IRI is willing to play in the new great game if they have to play?

Oh sorry take it back. The best spies are the ones who you'd least suspect. Anyway this must be a photo from her sweet sixteen.


Polak Maly, I imagine they will say it is outrageous to even talk to Ahmadinejad after what he just did at the UN and immediate stronger action must be taken. But it also conveys a mixed message to the US that they are willing to act independently if need be. Peres said nuking Iran had never been on the table in Israel a few days ago (talk about Orwellian) obviously under US pressure, but now the Israel regime regrets having done this since in return they expected the US to get IRI to stop this rhetoric.

I will answer your post from yesterday later. Thank you for writing it. I am wondering are you Iraniaan. I am not. I never heard a Persian name like tht before.

rosie is roxy is roshan

It is because the sentence was just a tap on the shoulder,

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

a little warning about what they are capable of and willing to do if/when the geopolitical bargaining gets too tough. They will play hardball. I hope no one  thinks Ahmadinejad and Khamenei and  Sharoudi the rest did not decide the original verdict and the call for appeal before the original verdict. Whether she gets the appeal or not and then whether she is released or not will depend on behind the scenes bargaining with the west.

The eight years conviction coincides with Obama's potential two terms in office. The full frontal attack oh human rights in Iran targeting every single group imaginable including the dead of Akhavan cemetery right after Obama's assuming office. 

Roxana's arrest was just a statement that the balll game has begun. Had she been acquitted, it would've been softball. the eight year sentence was hardball. One, Two, three years would've  been somewhere in-between. Naturally the sentence is meaningless. she could be released at any time at all with one day-s notice to pack her belongings depending on the trade-offs.

I still insist that althoug Roxana is an all-purpose bargaining chip the main message is that human rights will be the very last trade-off IRI is willing to concede since Roxana's sentencing coincided theatrically with other high profile human rights violations such as the announced date of execution of Delara and more I mentioned below. Roxana's heavy sentencing, in view of the fact that she is almost definitey innocent and even her photo is one of innocence, is itself a violation of human rights.

this renders the former rift on tactics between the so-called Left and the center right on whether or not human rights in Iran in fact mattes in comparison to other political agendas obsolete (this hush=hush attitude among all the great defenders, you know, every time you say they are awful the response is basically tantamunt to well Bush was worse so back to the nukes, Gaza whatever-what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?) because anyone who attempts to pull that now must apologize to themselves for even opening their mouth to say something like that.

My last word on this post I'll say above here to make sure the people who aren't reading my posts because they felt so ashamed when the previous ones kept saying, can't this wait til tomorrow, go two doors down to the other "movie star" victim and save her life today, will read it.

As I said below, Roxana will not


What is Israel up

by PolakMaly (not verified) on

What is Israel up to?

"Israel withdrew its ambassador from Switzerland on Monday in a harsh diplomatic response to a pre-conference dinner shared by Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz and Ahmadinejad. In their Sunday night conversation, Merz pressed the case of a jailed American journalist in Iran, acting in Switzerland's role as the official representative of U.S. interests in Iran."

I just don't understand this? What point is Israel trying to make?



Iran Court Will Consider Appeal for Journalist

by IRANdokht on


TEHRAN, April 20—the head of Iran’s judiciary said Monday that he had ordered the “careful, quick and fair consideration of an appeal against the eight-year jail sentence imposed on an Iranian-American journalist, one day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged the chief prosecutor to reexamine the case.
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, head of the Judiciary, issued a decree to the head of the Tehran court, calling on the appeal to be “considered at the appeals stage in careful, quick and fair way,” ISNA news agency reported.
“Fair examination of the case, especially at the appeal stage is the defendant’s right,” ISNA reported.
“All the aspects of this case, such as its moral and worldly elements, should be considered in a careful, quick and fair way.”
His order today was announced to the media by Judiciary Spokesman Alireza Jamshidi, ISNA reported.
It came a day after Mr. Ahmadinejad also urged the court to re-examine the case fairly — an effort seen by analysts to portray himself as a defender of human rights ahead of presidential election on June 12...




by Rajab. (not verified) on

You did not get it, did you?

It is NOT illegal to report without a license. It is NOT illegal in IRI and it is NOT illegal in the west either.

License is ONLY for identification (security check, etc). If one does not have a license she cannot enter some secure buildings or interview leaders. That is all.

Why are you siding with criminals in tehran so blindly? If you are an islamist, just say so rather than trying to accuse the weakest to protect the criminals in tehran with 30 years of deceit history who have cause even YOU to run away and seek refuge outside the regime that you favor.


Read a book on logic.

by Rajab. (not verified) on

you have offered no evidence of any particular knowledge on your part to substantiate your claim that this case falls under the same category, that this woman is NOT a spy

Obviously you have not read any book on logic ("mantegh") to know that a negative canNOT be proven. I accuse YOU of being a spy (for IRI), can YOU PROVE that you are not? If you can, then she can too using the same logic!

That is why any defendent to a dispute IS considered innocent until proven guilty BY the accusers. Your tendency to still give ANY credibility to IRI's claims after watching them perform for the past 30 years, who have murdered tens of thousands accusing them of moharreb-ba-khoda, or your conspiracy theories do not change the rules of logic or laws of a civil society. The burden of proof continues to be FULLY on the accuser in any civil legal system. That is why IRI does not open the courts to show the proofs that they supposedly have, being afraid of ridicule, and have issued the verdict in 15 minute -- far less time than is taken for someone with a speeding ticket to present his defense to a judge.




You might be right and this case might be similar to what you say happened in your case, but you have offered no evidence of any particular knowledge on your part to substantiate your claim that this case falls under the same category, that this woman is NOT a spy, and that she is being used for the internal politics of the IR.  I am not contending either way.  What I saying and I believe Fly says is that you have no proof to back your assertions.


Dear "mosleh",

by MiNeum71 on

Good morning, you also finally woke up?




by mosleh (not verified) on



To Fly: Although I do agree

by Skeptic (not verified) on

To Fly:

Although I do agree with some of your assertions regarding the past records of the US and the West in general in Iran, regretfully you seem to be ignorant or neglecting the internal dynamics of the IRA.

As an academician. I was subjected to some very torturous interrogations, based on some completely false accusations while visiting Iran some years ago. After my situation was cleared, it was revealed to us that the internal infighting between various government branches of IRA had caused my case (security and information ministries). Essentially I was used and victimized for their own selfish objectives, and not for a national security issue. It is very naive of you not to pay attention to this overriding agenda. In Iran everything is highly politicized to serve the survival of the regime or various factions, and there are no overall moral / ethical / policy standards to serve the nation or people.


Just Another Bargaining Chip

by Behrooz (not verified) on

Oh, come come people. Get a hold of your emotions.
I think by now every one, even the birds in sky know that the charges brought against this poor young woman were damn lies and fabrications, and does not hold any water even by IRI’s standards

Now the only remaining question is: WHY

The fact of the matter is that many factions within IRI would like very much to deal and negotiate with U.S and in fact Obama’s New Year message has put the ball squarely in the IRI’s court. They know that sooner or later they need to give some sort of response back and to prevent further international isolation they need start some kind of negotiation with the Obama administration, if they are to be believed on their seriousness about peace.
Now entities like Roxana in a small scale or uranium enrichment in and Iraq insurgency in a large scale, would serve as a very good bargaining chips for the IRI on the negotiation table. For example if U.S wants Roxana Back they also need to return Iranian detainees in Iraq. Or if they want the insurgency in Iraq to end then they have to close Ashraf camp and surrender all the residents to IRI’s death camps (such as Evin Rajaee Shahr, Ghezel Hesaar and so on.) or if Israel wants to be left in peace in order to deal with its Arab neighbours and Hamas or Hezbollah to be kept on leash then they have to accept a nuclear IRI. Remember the old saying of

doshman natavaan haghir o bichaare shemord

I know these are very cruel and inhumane ways. But we need to face the fact and understand the nature of the beast (IRI) we are dealing with and take it for the monster it is. Also in the end those who push for U.S negotiation with IRI from within America (IRI lobbies or people within US administration) should also realise that in dealing with the devil there are no winners