This editorial appeared in The (Raleigh) News & Observer.
A conviction by an Iranian court of an Iranian-American journalist on charges of spying would be highly questionable in any circumstance. Iran is not exactly a pillar of free thought or fairness, after all. But the case of Roxana Saberi, 31, and her eight-year prison sentence are chock full of questions, very serious questions. Even the Iranian leadership appears now to be edgy about the outcome of her one-hour trial.
No less than Iranian President Mahmoud Amadinejad urged the chief prosecutor to have another look. Meanwhile, President Obama expressed dismay at the outcome, which came as the United States and Iran apparently had made some progress toward at least having talks on Iran's worrisome nuclear program.
Here are a couple of questions: If the Iranians think they have the goods on Saberi, then why haven't they been more forthcoming about what exactly she supposedly did?
Second, Obama stated with certainty that this young woman, who holds dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship, was not a spy. While he might defend her if she indeed had been spying and he knew that from U.S. intelligence agencies, he likely would not have been so emphatic in his assertion that she was not.
To read the complete editorial, visit The (Raleigh) News & Observer.