Why Roxana?

Saberi's case may be aimed at testing President Obama and his resolve


Why Roxana?
by Trita Parsi

Tehran's sentencing of Roxana Saberi to eight years of prison for spying has shocked people inside and outside the country. At a time when President Barack Obama is seeking a dialogue with Tehran, what kind of a signal does Roxana's sentencing send, especially given that the trial failed to meet the basic standards set by international conventions to which Iran is party?

According to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI), the Iranian authorities didn't even disclose the laws she allegedly violated, nor did they announce under what article of the law she was indicted.

Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist who has been living in Iran since 2003, was first arrested in January. She was accused of buying wine. The allegation was later changed to engaging in illegal activities by continuing to report after her press credentials were revoked in 2006. Then, during her closed-door trail on April 13, 2009, the authorities changed the charge once again. Now she was accused of spying for the US government.

As Hadi Ghaemi of ICHRI has pointed out, "to arrest Saberi for buying wine and suddenly uncover evidence a week before her trial that she was spying for the United States government lacks credibility."

So why is this happening to Saberi? Most analyst agree that she has become a pawn in the political games between the US and Iran, though the explanations for Tehran's actions differ.

One theory reads that both Saberi and Esha Momeni, another Iranian American who was arrested in 2008, will be used as leverage with the US in a future negotiation, possibly to exchange for two Iranian nationals taken by US forces in a 2007 raid of the Iranian consulate in Irbil, Iraq. Tehran maintains that the two Iranians are diplomats. The Bush administration said that they were Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps agents. (US forces arrested five Iranians - three of them have been released, but two of them remain in US custody.)

Some have speculated that the case is an effort by hardliners in the Iranian Judiciary who seek to undermine US-Iran negotiations. This would fit an old pattern in which Iranian hardliners often used their influence in the Judiciary or the Intelligence ministry to create roadblocks for any US-Iran diplomacy. President Ahmadinejad's public comments that Saberi should be given the opportunity to appeal her case, may support this theory. But it's election season in Iran and Ahmadinejad's comments may also be an effort to boost his popularity with the voters by seeking to eliminate roadblocks to improved US-Iran relations (US-Iran rapprochement enjoys strong support among the Iranian populace).

Alternatively, the Saberi arrest and sentencing may be an effort to sustain the elevated security environment in Iran. The Iranian authorities used tensions with the US, as well as the Bush administration's extensive threats of bombing Iran, to create a heightened security environment in the country to clamp down on internal dissent and deter human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists from challenging the government.

The Obama administration's outreach to Iran, and the President's extensive efforts to change the atmospherics between the two countries - particularly the signal that problems between the US and Iran cannot be resolved through threats and his consistent reference to the Islamic Republic - have largely deprived the Iranian government of the pretext of a perceived US threat.

Saberi's case may be an effort to retain elements of that atmosphere and signal the population that even though the US and Iran may have a dialogue soon, no one should think that regime's internal red lines can be questioned and challenged now. Though most human rights defenders agree that a US-Iran rapprochement will in the long run be very beneficial for the human rights situation in Iran (Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, favors talks on these grounds, for instance), there are signs that a lowering of US-Iran tensions may create a short-term backlash against pro-democracy and human rights forces in the country.

But the motivation of the Iranian authorities may also be of a completely different nature. Tehran has signaled that there is a general consensus among the many power factions in Iran that a dialogue with Washington should be pursued. One of the hesitations that exist, however, is whether President Obama has the ability to deliver and the resolve to stand up against the many forces in Washington - domestic and otherwise - that oppose a US-Iran rapprochement.

Entering into a diplomatic process that fails, many in Tehran fear, would strengthen the case for international sanctions against Iran - as well as potential military action. Just as much as Washington has its many legitimate concerns about Iran's sincerity and ability to come to an agreement with the US in spite of its anti-American ideology, Tehran has its concerns about Washington's - not just President Obama's - intentions and ability to come to terms with the Iranian government.

In his reaction to Obama's Norooz message, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, hinted of Iran's hesitations. Insisting that "Changes in words are not adequate," Khamenei asked: "I would like to say that I do not know who makes decisions for America, the president, the congress, behind the scene elements?"

Saberi's case may be aimed at testing President Obama and his resolve at the earliest possible stage. Will the president continue to push for a dialogue in spite of the backlash from anti-dialogue forces in Washington - and will he prevail?

These potential explanations for Tehran's actions may not be mutually exclusive. Similarly, none of them may be valid either - outside speculation about Tehran's motives may once more be off the mark. But mindful of the Iranian Judiciary's handling of the case, the least credible explanation is that Saberi is a spy.

Trita Parsi is president and co- founder of the National Iranian American Council and author of "Treacherous Alliances: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States." First published in Huffington Post.


Recently by Trita ParsiCommentsDate
Bibi’s Three Steps Forward, One Back
Oct 13, 2012
Mistaken Path
Jun 22, 2012
Give Obama Elbow Room on Iran
Jun 15, 2012
more from Trita Parsi

Dear Abarmard, On the contrary

by Areyo Barzan (not verified) on

I believe that the state of both national and international affairs in Iran, is all this case is about. This case is simply the symptom of a much bigger problem called IRI and I chose to talk about the source of the problem rather than its symptom

Furthermore I believe I have given all the necessary explanations that I needed to give and answered all your questions in my first posting. Now repeating the same questions does not get you a different answer.

The IRI is now 30 years old and it had all the opportunities in the world to reform and change direction. But it did not and even became more brutal. It also had access to an infinite source of oil, gas and other national revenue, which could have been used for improving Iranian people’s standard of life. But all the money either ended up in the pockets of Hamas an Hezbollah or in Dubai or Swiss banks of IRI’s officials. In order for any system to reform first there need to be a mechanism in place for that reform and  more importantly there needs to be some willingness in part of the rulers to reform, and at the moment these are both absent in IRI’s system. Now if you prefer to burry your head in the sand and live your life in denial or if it serves your  personal interests to do so then that is your choice and by all means you are welcome to it As the old saying goes:

“You can always awaken the one who is asleep but can never awaken one who pretends to be asleep”.

As far as the MAHASTIM movement is concerned, I can assure that this is a real movement, truly Iranian in identity and in full momentum.. One only need to have a look at the site of  Mr Tabarzadi, read his analysis on this movement or listen to his interviews to see where this movement is. Furthermore the city walls all over the country talk for itself about the popularity of this movement


However if you still prefer to ignore this fact and deny its existence that would serve us well too as we have one less hassle to deal with. But rest assure that this movement will sooner or later catch up with you and other IRI apologists.


Areyo Barzan And notInYourLife

by Abarmard on

Although this is not related to this article, i would like to make a quick point. Why wouldn't good relations that ultimately open the borders to trade and exchange of dollars be good for the people of Iran?
Why would you think that revolutionary jumps are the answers and not gradual steps?

On this threat, most of us don't agree with one another, consider a country that needs to come together to have a stable and a democratic system. If time is given, this most people in this threat would begin to compromise based on the concept of understanding.

Iran is no different. At this point don't worry for big jumps and given the options, take the one that gives the most benefit for the Iranians; not to mention Americans also.


Please keep in mind that they are several (Perhaps six after release of one) hostages that have been taken by the US soldiers. No one knows where they are and how is their health. No visitation Rights by the US is given and as many suspect, they have been badly tortured and/or already dead. They are innocent and have been used by the US political game. That is not right either. One released hostage had explained the feet drilling and back breaking tortures by the US guards. That is unacceptable also and it’s not a hostage taker argument!


Wishful thinking

by Areyo Barzan (not verified) on


Well! In my humble opinion both the writer and those who believe that any change in relations between the U.S administration and IRI in either direction would actually bring any change to or benefit to the people of  Iran and makes our lives easier, is living in cloud  coo-coo land and need their head severely examined.

For those who thing that a good relationship with the U.S will somehow in long or short term result into an improvement of the behaviour of IRI and closure of its torture houses, respect of the minority’s rights and a movement towards democracy I would strongly say that actually my friends you do not know the first thing about politic, Iranian society or the nature of this or regime or any other dictator and oppressive regime for that matter.

Just by looking within our own region in Middle East we can see many regimes that despite having best relations with US and being supported by U.S financially, politically and militarily still remain among the most oppressive regimes and the worst violators of human right in the whole world. The two countries of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are very good examples supporting this claim.

The reason for this is very simple, and that is the fact that in the end the administrations like Obama’s or other Western governments are after one thing and one thing only, and that is their own national interests, which could be categorized as economically first and security second. Please pay close attention to what I said, economically FIRST. In the end  as they have shown in many occasions they are more than prepared to sacrifice their long term security for short term financial gains and the current mess in the state of world banks is a self testament to my claim  As long as the governments like Saudi Arabia., Pakistan (or in future) IRI and other oppressive regimes in the world accept to set their policies along those Western priorities then the American or any other Western government could not care less about what happens internally in those countries and in  many cases they are more than happy to  look the other way or even accommodate for those oppressive methods like torture, false imprisonment and general human right violations to be conducted. Just look at the recent scandal with the extra ordinary renditions by US and Europe and the collaboration of agencies like MI6 and CIA with torture chambers in Jordan Saudi Arabia and other countries

Now if we try to look at this issue trough an independent lens this behaviour would make perfect sense from the where those Western governments stand. At the end of the day people like Obama are obligated towards no one but their own voters. As we saw that in front of the whole world he put his hand on his holey book and took an oath to protect and preserve the rights and interest of not Iranian people, not Iraqis, not Afghans, nor any other nation but THE AMERICAN PEOPLE and it would be foolish for us to expect anything else.

Hence as you see it would be very unrealistic for us to believe or expect of any foreign government to fight OUR battle for us and be the champion of OUR human right. This important point brings me to the second group who think that an American invasion, more sanctions, more interference or a love loss between Tehran and Washington would somehow solve their problem. In fact on the contrary. One needs to only have a brief look and the state of countries like Iraq  Afghanistan or North Korea and Cuba to see what devastations have these methods brought to those countries and how much if any real term improvement have been made in those countries in terms of human right or democracy.

The bottom line is that IF (and that is a big if!) people of Iran want the current situation to end and IF (again a big if!) they want their rights to be honoured, then the only party who can achieve that goal is themselves and themselves only. the “IRANIAN PEOPLE”.

As there is an old Persian saying of:

 Hagh dadani nist balke gereftani ast

It is we the Iranian people who need to stand up to both foreign intrusion being by US, UK, Russia or Emirate and domestic oppression by the IRI and its cronies. We should accept that there is no escape from the fact that in order to do this and achieve the goal of democracy and prosperity there are prices to pay,  A hefty price both in financial and in human term. In no country in the world democracy has come around cheaply or solely by the efforts of a foreign invader.


In the end this is us the people of Iran who should not only stand up to this oppressive regime to through it out and bring the criminals who supported and accommodated its crimes into justice, but also need to have a look deep within our self and our own attitudes towards each other and specially those whose views defer from us.  If we are to avoid another dictator and the same discussion in thirty years time then we need to resolve our differences by engaging in dialog without censorship and not through terror, torture and imprisonment of those who dare to disagree with us. Today although most of us are angry with IRI and its oppressive methods, we should not forget that it is us the people of Iran who either by our passive silence or by our active participating in these crimes as the agents of different IRI organizations are sustaining this dictatorship.

And finally to those wishful thinkers who still think that IRI  as a system or is redeemable or the individuals in the power have a faintest intention of moving towards democracy I would attract your attention a cutting Mr Parsi’s  own article which was a quote from Mr Khamenei who in answer to the message from president Obama stated:

Khamenei asked: I would like to say that I do not know who makes decisions for America, the president, the congress, behind the scene elements?”


Now! this quote demonstrate clearly Khamene’s mentality and more importantly his lack of faintest familiarity to democratic process, as he expects just like his dictatorship oligarchy all the decision in democratic societies such as US should also be taken by one group or person, who would regard American people as immature unworthy children who are not qualified to chart their own destiny and need a supreme custodian (Valee) to decide for dictate to them. Now to expect such leader and such system to be able to achieve democracy and respect of individual human or minority’s rights is frankly laughable.

Hence in my humble opinion there is only one way to defeat this regime first through non violent fights (”naa farmani ye madani va mobareze ye mosalemat amiz”)

Which is what the movement of MAHASTIM is doing







and secondly through a change of attitude which equally important if we do not want for another dictator to take over. Unless we start to respect each others right and be prepared to forgive each other and unite, no regime could do that for us

PS : As I told you before in order to have democracy we need to think democratic and let the opposition to speak. As a small test we can see if this comment would ever make it to the side without censorship or Mr Javid would try to protect his friend and omit my comment


Deletable observation

by Fred on

According to its track record the NIAC lobby has been attempting to thwart any and all pressures on the Islamist republic, be it economic, diplomatic or criticism from the mass media.

The other “advocacy” that the lobby claims that it undertakes on behalf of the Iranian-Americans which amount to not that much and mostly belatedly, comes across as an afterthought. The current case of the Iranian-American hostage, Roxanna Saberi, is only the most recent example of this smoke and mirrors behavior.


It's not so complicated

by Dariush (not verified) on

Fred you said, a leopard cannot change its spots.
It reminds me of your writings and the intentions behind them. The way you often try to paint an elephant and sell it as a lovebird.

Farhad kashani, Your complain of Evin, reminded me of a story.
I heard after the revolution, the revolutionary guards put some of the Generals in Evin prison. After a few days one of the Generals started complaining about the jail being too small and uncomfortable.
The guard in respond said, don't blame us for it, your government built it, with your help.
The tortures people see today, are the result of decades of U.S. Government trainings and actions, up until Obama. The same government that you approved so much.

It is not a secret that there are many foreigners hired by CIA and FBI. They can very well be your relative and you long time body. They don't call it spy any more. They call it translator. More professional right?. Once you become a very good translator, then you are given some other titles like business man, reporter, tourist, archaeologist, doctor/torturer and etc.

The motive for her arrest is probably the negative answers by U.S. to Iran's many requests to release Iranian citizens, kidnapped by U.S. Army.
IRI is saying, where is the mutual respect, cooperation and human rights that you preach so much Mr. Obama?
This is also a heads up to the spies.

As for saberi, If she was a spy, it wouldn't have taken 6 years for IRI to find out and at the end apparently with no evidence. Another sad part is that they place the British in a house, feed them well and send them home with gifts, but hold Iranians and give them jail sentences and more. Shouldn't it be the opposite?

Even if one is guilty, there is no need for torture and often no need for death. If we just practice the old saying, "stick a needle to yourself before sticking a nail to others" world would be much better place.


Abarmard, Spoken like a hostage taker.

by notInYourLife (not verified) on

You are suggesting hostage in return for prisoners. You the man.



by Abarmard on

Has taken a clear position about this. 

Thank you for a informative piece. You have gotten it right in regard to this case. I wish that all the politically charged prisoners, be it Iranians in the hand of the US officials or Mrs. Saberi, to become free in days to come.


The degree of ignorance is just mind buggling

by aynak on


National Iranian-American Council states its mission as:

" The National Iranian American
Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing
the interests of the Iranian-American community....."

I interpret from the above, is that if I as an Iranian-American run
into an issue in U.S which has stritcly nothing to do with me as an
indvidual but rather with my identity as an Iranian-American, ie. I am
discriminated against, persecuted or otherwise singled out for no other
reason than my Iranian-ness then they would step in.
Collectively that would insure our rights is protected.

Likewise, if an Iranian-American is mistreated or in this case
accused of charges and without even a proper due process convicted of 8
years in prison, again NIAC would step in and intervene to protect that
Iranian-Americans basic rights.

When film maker Ghobadi, or a political thinker --inside-- Iran like Ziba Kalam dismiss the
charges, I am surprised how some people who probably don't know
anything about this, step in and say "what if she were .....".

Anybody home? At least one thing you should have learned here is
that your are innocent unless proven otherwise, and your guess or
speculation does not

mean proof.

What I am objecting with Tritas writing, is that it gets into business of analysis or

the way I read it pure speculation (where in the charter does the role of giving

opinions on the reasoning behind an arrest fits I dont know) instead of trying to

ACTIVELY secure the release of one of us Iranian-American.

am I missing her? Just imagine if Mr.Trita went to Iran and
someone arrested him for spying for U.S. Would he want us to sit
here and speculate what in-fighting

has caused his arrest, or would he want the full support of the community by

saying: show me the proof? what have you got against him? where is the open

trial? Let's focus on the mission of NIAC. I am proposing a very contructive

role here.


Farhad Kashani

Smhb,   Your Leftist

by Farhad Kashani on



Your Leftist propaganda will not work here.


If you want to talk about track records, let’s talk about track records, let’s talk about the track records of IRI and socialist and Communist countries you defend so much to see who is worse. Let’s talk about the Evins, and the re-education camps and what Russia did to minorities and what China did to Tibet and that was only the 20th century!!!


You are so brainwashed its not even funny. 2 things here. First, how can anyone with the smallest ounce of decency, common sense and ability to think, believe a Fascist regime which has engaged in death, imprisonment, murder, exile and oppressing of the Iranian people, and pursuing and inspiring fundamentalist ideology and violating human rights on 24/7 basis is telling the truth about Roxana being a spy? Barbaric regimes that you support all the time like IRI use this label to oppress and abolish any type of opposition. This is an old trick used by the former communist regimes and is used now by their Islamist allies in Iran. Second, do you know what it takes to become a “spy”? What kind of a training or preparedness did she go through to qualify her and prepare her to become a “spy”? What kind of damage can someone like her do to a regime like the IRI and what exactly was she spying on? What access did she have to IRI’s important sites or documents? Are you kidding me??? The attempt by some people to hint that she has anything to do with spying is cold hearted and sad, very sad, disturbingly sad as matter of fact. And as far she’s getting water boarded, don’t worry, there are hundreds of Guantanamo's in Iran, it’s just that your leftist allies in global media don’t wanna talk about them. But no worries, Mr Saeed Mortazavi, just as he murdered Zahra Kazemi by hitting her in the head with his shoes, will find a way to take care of Roxana also.


As far as Western powers go, first off, U.S.A is not the same as some other European nations that committed colonialism in the past. U.S was never a colonial nation. Second, you guys’ blind and irrational hate for the U.S stems from the fact that it defeated your communist block. You will never get over it, so what you do is trash what U.S did after WWII to fight communism and win and freeing millions and getting rid of that dark ideology by calling it “espionage, sabotage…”. It was Communism, just like Islamism perpetuated by regimes such as IRI and Al Qaeda, which declared global war on the United States, not the other way around. And U.S had to defend itself. And Communism wasn’t only directed towards the U.S, but everyone, and U.S since it was in the forefront of this attack, helped those countries fight communism and eventually defeated that repressive and regressive ideology and the world is grateful and thankful for it.


Your defense of the IRI regime is despicable and contrary to the views and feelings of the vast majority of Iranians gradually dying under the brutal oppression of your beloved IRI regime. As far as I’m concerned, this is an insult to our great civilization.



Ms. Trita

by capt_ayhab on

Excellent article and analysis. I do agree with you that this is rather a dog and pony show and the agenda behind it is that of :

1. Either as you say, to test the resolve of new Admin[Obama]

2. Or even sicker, that these maniacs may want to use her as a bargaining chip for the future negotiations.

In either case, poor her happened to be in the wrong place in wrong time, to become a pawn in sick games that the IR plays in order to have a point. Such a disgrace they have brought upon us Iranians, It will take decades for us, IF we are given the opportunity, to absolve our nation from all the shame they have created for us.

Thanks for your article.




Why Roxana

by smhb on

First of all I would like to wish Ms. Saberi well and sincerely hope that she will be released and returned to her family.

However I also would like to touch on a few points.

1- Is it possible that Roxana may have had some activities that could be
construed as espionage looking from the perspective of the highly
stressed and possibly paranoid judges and prosecutors?

2- Is it possible that she was a spy?

3- Is it possible that she is a pawn in an international game of chicken between Iran and US?

I do like to address the underlying issues relevant to the first
two points and finish off with addressing the third point. 

As Iranians we all know too well that there is a widespread conviction in Iran that western countries are attempting to overthrow the Islamic Republic through a "velvet" revolution spearheaded by NGOs, charities and other international organisations.

Gosh, gees, where on earth would the Iranians get that idea from?

Could it perhaps be aggravated by the fact that it is official US government
policy to overthrow the Iranian government? With plenty of recent
precedence to back it up.

Frankly, only an idiot would not regard it as pretty likely that the US and UK and israheli governments are actively engaged in espionage and destabilisation operations aganst Iran, and that some at least amongst the "NGOs, charities and other international organisations" are implicated in those activities either knowingly or unwittingly.

History proves beyond dispute that such
methods were used by western powers and their intelligence agencies and operatives during the great
game of the 19th century and early 20th century and the Cold War, and there's no reason to suppose they've changed their methods that much, just because they profess to be the true guardians of democracy and human rights.

I know nothing about the particulars of this individual case, but I don't see why we are automatically expected to believe that pro-western bloggers and journalists aren't spying for the US or engaging in anti-government activities when they are accused of
doing so by the IR.

I suspect even a few of the many hundreds or thousands of people detained without trial or charges by the US regime and its client states around the world may have been guilty of anti-US activity. Just because governments are incompetent doesn't mean they are always wrong.

Ms. Saberi should get a fair and open trial, as anyone should, but as far as her actual activities are concerned I'll reserve judgement till further facts are provided and we become better informed.

Both the US and the Iranian government are paranoid. At least the IR has plenty of history to back it up and the excuse of being directly under threat of attack and invasion by the wealthiest and most
powerful state in the world with a proven track record of espionage,
sabotage, assassinations, instigating war of aggression and aggressive use of force, rather than facing just a few Arab cave-dwellers who were incidentally trained by the CIA, Mossad and MI6.

Has Ms. Saberi been waterboarded, by the way, or stripped naked and
forced to stay awake for several days or being exposed naked to attack
dogs for the pleasure of her mentally deranged guards? The answer is a
clear NO.

Having said that I would also like to address the third point, 

Is Iran responding tit-for-tat to the continued detention in Iraq of Iranian citizens on espionage charges?

That sounds very possible to me.

My guess is that she'll be released on appeal, and some of the Iranian's
the US has locked up in Iraq and severly tortured will get to go home
to their families at last. Thats ofcourse if they are still alive.

I don't think Iran has anything to gain by putting her in jail for 8 years, but she'll be a useful bargaining chip to free up some of Iran's people banged up in Iraq.

Not much fun for Roxana or her family, but then there are many more Iranian's in god knows where in Iraq who's continued
incarceration, torture and abuse is wrong and reprehensible.

Time for a prisoner swap I think.


what if she

by Reza Khan Mir Five (not verified) on

is indeed a spy working for the CIA with NPR cover up? What's so strange about that? The CIA advertises on Iranian radio and tv in USA offering job opportunities with the CIA. So, do you think they will send the trained agents to Luxumburg? No, they will send them to Iran! Capiche?


Mirsayafi it must not be forgotten

by amir nasiri (not verified) on

Omid Mirsayafi

Must not be forgotten

where are all the bloggers and proud Iranians

have you contacted your local papers and demanded that they publish Mirsayafi murder case by the IRI regime?

Why haven't you done so?

Have you contacted your constituents, senators members of congress?


I Vote For Peace

by A Hassan Danesh, Sociologist (not verified) on

Don't forget though the way the global economy is organized its engine continuously needs war and more wars...It is like economic turnado that must hit the ground to release its build up tension in agitation in frenzy in orgy like a pack of hungry sharks who found food after so much delay and starvation.

Having accepted this inevitablity then the next question is where do you want to lead this clossal turnado to hit the ground in the next round of beating up after Iraq field has become completely exhausted like a dead oil well after excessive extraction--

"Somebody gotta pay"


To Fred

by IVoteForPeace (not verified) on

I believe NIAC is trying to make peace, and to make peace you need to be tactful and wise. (I don't believe they are lobbyist in the context you refer to them). What does peace mean? It means no bloodshed, no violence, coexistence, understanding and tolerance despite major differences. That is what Mossadegh aimed to do too. And many called him different names. He did not succeed but there was no meaningless bloodshed either. I always wonder why Gandhi succeeed in what he did and Mossadegh did not? Was it the people around them? Also, I would invite you -if I may - to judge an organization by their action(s) and accomplishments. NIAC has become a voice for Iranian-Americans in D.C. That is not bad you know. When there is an issue on the Congress table about Iranian-Americans, the members get an email and based on their views they can voice their own opinion to their lawmakers. NIAC wants to prevent war. I agree. I don't want my birth country or any country to become like Lebanon,Iraq, or others in war. Visit the people of the countries after a war has taken place in them. Listen to them. Listen to people who have started wars or contributed to it. I support giving negotiations and dialog a well deserved chance. War would bring disease, misery, death and destruction in colossal scope. I really don't want that for any country. This is not about you, me and NIAC, this is about the people who will get affected by a pointless war on both sides. I think NIAC might be the lobbyist for peace. A difficult job.



by Karim S (not verified) on

do you know the difference between a statement and an analysis? NIAC clearly condemned the jailing of Roxana last week, see:


you seem to want every 800 word article to answer all your desires and needs - a bar that seems to deliberately set so that no one can succeed your test


Strange post indeed

by aynak on


Dear Trita,

I read your article with great enthusiasm in the hope of
understanding what WE as
Iranian-American can do to fix this problem, which means gaining the
freedom of Roxana and Esha and making sure these arbitrary arrests do
not happen again. Unfortunately,
there was only disasppointment by the time I finished reading it.

Did you even read your article? What is your point?

a representative of Iranian-American interests you should first and
foremost defend the rights of any Iranian-American that is violated
either in U.S or in Iran. Where is you statement condemening this
yet another stupid act by Islamic Republic of Irans security forces
which attempts to portray us, Iranian-Americans as SPIES?

As an
Iranian-American, I believe there is so much common interest between
the two nations in various fields that both country can greatly benefit
from normalization of relations. However, when my own country of
birth treats my child as an outsider someone like yourself presumably
with interest in both should be unequivical in first defending the
rights of Esha or Roxana, rather than this meaningless artilcle.

this girl, I see many of our own children if we raise them correctly.
With passion and care for their Iranian heritag and the curiiosity to
pursue back in Iran where they should feel safe as it is their home

message this non-sensical act sends is that our children are not
welcomed back to Iran! How we can remain quiet and get
drawn into pointless speculation about the ulterior motives of IR is
just puzzling.

focus our energy in bringing our Iranian-American collective energy to
defend our basic rights like a fair trial?  no matter where we are?

make sure those engaged in these arbitray arrests know and understand
there is a price to be paid for abusing their authority.

 I am eagerly awaiting your more constructive suggestions.



اوباش هاي دولت ايران

احمد از دبي (not verified)

خداراشكر كه صابري اوباما وباسبورت امريكايي دارد ماكه ازدست اوباش هاي دولت ايران در دبي اسايش نداريم به كجا اباد برويم؟


A leopard cannot change its spots

by Fred on

The NIAC lobby head says: “But the motivation of the Iranian authorities may also be of a completely different nature. Tehran has signaled that there is a general consensus among the many power factions in Iran that a dialogue with Washington should be pursued. One of the hesitations that exist, however, is whether President Obama has the ability to deliver and the resolve to stand up against the many forces in Washington - domestic and otherwise - that oppose a US-Iran rapprochement”.

A little further down The lobbyist delivers his punch line as:
“Saberi's case may be aimed at testing President Obama and his resolve at the earliest possible stage. Will the president continue to push for a dialogue in spite of the backlash from anti-dialogue forces in Washington - and will he prevail?”

In another words in furtherance of its policies the Islamist republic that his lobby advocates to have a normal full-fledged relations with U.S. is still taking hostages as it did at its inception with the American diplomats as its pawn.

The Lobbyist’s lame attempt at trying to make some sort of logical sense of a continued criminal act aside, others need to be reminded that a leopard cannot change its spots.