Roxana Saberi to be freed

Rick Moran
An Iranian appeals court ("appealing" a rigged decision in another rigged court) is set to release American journalist Roxana Saberi perhaps as early as today, according to the BBC:

An Iran court has cut jailed US-Iranian reporter Roxana Saberi's sentence to two years suspended and she will be freed later on Monday, her lawyer says.

The court heard Ms Saberi's appeal against her original eight-year prison sentence on Sunday, after an international outcry.

She will be able to leave the country, but has been banned from working as a journalist in Iran for five years.

Ms Saberi was convicted of spying for the US in April but denies the charge.

The case sparked international concern and US President Barack Obama has appealed on her behalf.

To review this case: Saberi was arrested in January for attempting to buy liquor - a crime that can get you five years in Iran. About a month later, and quite suddenly, the charges were upped to espionage, a crime that can get you the death sentence.

What happened that would have caused the Iranians to make an international incident out of some western woman trying to buy booze by adding a trumped up spying charge?

Obama's "outreach" to Iran was picking up steam when those charges were changed. Leaving aside the possility of coincidence for a moment, recall that Secretary Gates all but tabled the idea of military action against Iran nuke sites and Obama himself referred to the "Islamic Republic of Iran" in his simpering letter to Ahmadinejad. These are just two of the public feelers Obama sent out.

And how did the mullahs respond?

They ginned up very serious charges against an American woman. Responding to Obama's peaceful overtures by threatening to execute an American citizen is fairly telling in how contemptuous the Iranians viewed Obama's overtures.

And the propoganda value they will get out of showing the convicted spy "mercy" will be immense. Every liberal from here to Europe will be crowing about how Obama's soft line to Iran is "working" - ignoring what the mullahs did in the immediate aftermath of his peace feelers.

Mixed up in all of this is the usual internal power struggle between the very hard line crazies and the slightly less hard line crazies. Watch now as Iranian "analysts" try to tell us that "moderate" mullahs are in the ascendancy and Obama's policies have strengthened them.

What they won't point out is that you don't acheive a position of leadership in the Iranian government unless you are an anti-Semetic nutcase who wants to wipe Israel off the map as well as being an anti-American crazy who wishes to destroy us. The difference between the hard liners and the moderates is that the moderates are smart enough not to say what's really on their mind - or at least make noises as if they want "peace" with the west.

Saberi's release is welcome for her and her family. But considering that she was convicted in a rigged court in the first place, it hardly constitutes anything except a well thought out gambit by the Iranian government.



An Iranian appeals court ("appealing" a rigged decision in another rigged court) is set to release American journalist Roxana Saberi perhaps as early as today, according to the BBC:

An Iran court has cut jailed US-Iranian reporter Roxana Saberi's sentence to two years suspended and she will be freed later on Monday, her lawyer says.

The court heard Ms Saberi's appeal against her original eight-year prison sentence on Sunday, after an international outcry.

She will be able to leave the country, but has been banned from working as a journalist in Iran for five years.

Ms Saberi was convicted of spying for the US in April but denies the charge.

The case sparked international concern and US President Barack Obama has appealed on her behalf.

To review this case: Saberi was arrested in January for attempting to buy liquor - a crime that can get you five years in Iran. About a month later, and quite suddenly, the charges were upped to espionage, a crime that can get you the death sentence.

What happened that would have caused the Iranians to make an international incident out of some western woman trying to buy booze by adding a trumped up spying charge?

Obama's "outreach" to Iran was picking up steam when those charges were changed. Leaving aside the possility of coincidence for a moment, recall that Secretary Gates all but tabled the idea of military action against Iran nuke sites and Obama himself referred to the "Islamic Republic of Iran" in his simpering letter to Ahmadinejad. These are just two of the public feelers Obama sent out.

And how did the mullahs respond?

They ginned up very serious charges against an American woman. Responding to Obama's peaceful overtures by threatening to execute an American citizen is fairly telling in how contemptuous the Iranians viewed Obama's overtures.

And the propoganda value they will get out of showing the convicted spy "mercy" will be immense. Every liberal from here to Europe will be crowing about how Obama's soft line to Iran is "working" - ignoring what the mullahs did in the immediate aftermath of his peace feelers.

Mixed up in all of this is the usual internal power struggle between the very hard line crazies and the slightly less hard line crazies. Watch now as Iranian "analysts" try to tell us that "moderate" mullahs are in the ascendancy and Obama's policies have strengthened them.

What they won't point out is that you don't acheive a position of leadership in the Iranian government unless you are an anti-Semetic nutcase who wants to wipe Israel off the map as well as being an anti-American crazy who wishes to destroy us. The difference between the hard liners and the moderates is that the moderates are smart enough not to say what's really on their mind - or at least make noises as if they want "peace" with the west.

Saberi's release is welcome for her and her family. But considering that she was convicted in a rigged court in the first place, it hardly constitutes anything except a well thought out gambit by the Iranian government.