Roxana Saberi: A Political Pawn?
The detention in Tehran of Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi is likely an attempt by hardliners to poison the possibility of better relations between our two countries. She was accused of spying and sentenced to 8 years, but given the right to appeal.
Saeed Leylaz, a political analyst in Iran, said he believed that his country wanted to use Ms. Saberi in negotiations with the United States, but would not keep her for long because it would tarnish its human rights record.
Iran has also been pressing for the release of three Iranian officials whom the United States took into custody in 2007 in Iraq. The men, who Iran says are diplomats, were arrested at Iran’s consulate in northern Iraq. United States forces have said the men had links to the Revolutionary Guards.
Some diplomats have suggested that another American who many believe is being held in Iran, Robert Levinson, a former F.B.I. agent, may be viewed as a high-value chip in a possible prisoner swap. Mr. Levinson traveled to Iran in 2007 on what his family said was a business trip and has been missing since then.
Saberi was initially arrested in January and charged with buying alcohol. She was later accused of working as a reporter without credentials and then charged with spying. She is currently in Evin prison in Tehran. Hopefully, better relations with the US will enable a prisoner swap and a quick end to these maneuvers. Let’s hope Leylaz is correct in that Iran does have some consiousness about its human rights record.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2009 Liberaland