Obama concerned over journalist’s sentencing by Iran

April 19th, 2009 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Port of Spain, April 19 (Xinhua) US President Barack Obama is “deeply disappointed” by Iran’s sentencing of an American-Iranian journalist, the White House said.
Roxana Saberi, who worked for international news organisations in Iran for years, was sentenced to eight years in prison by an Iranian court Saturday on charges of spying for the US.

Responding to the court decision, Obama’s adviser Denis McDonough said Saberi was simply practicing journalism. He said the US administration is working with Swiss diplomats in Iran to ensure Saberi’s well-being.

The 31-year-old journalist is reportedly one of the three Americans detained or believed missing in Iran.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, accompanying Obama at the Fifth Summit of the Organisation of the Americas (OAS) April 17-19, said the US administration will discuss the issue with Tehran.

Saberi was arrested in January for working in Iran without valid press credentials. But earlier this month, Iranian authorities labelled espionage charges against Saberi, saying she used journalism as a cover to pass classified information to US spy agencies.

The US has rejected the espionage charges as “baseless”.

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