U.S. officials and the Iranian President have weighed in on the case of the American journalist sentenced to eight year in jail on charges of spying for the United States.
A citizen of both the United States and Iran, journalist Roxana Saberi was initially arrested for illegally purchasing wine but was later charged with espionage.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmandinejad has asked the court to allow Saberi to defend herself in the appeal but Iran judiciary is not obligated to do so.
Both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have protested Saberi's imprisonment.
At a news conference this week, President Obama said, "I am gravely concerned with her safety and well-being. She is an American citizen, and I have complete confidence that she was not engaging in any sort of espionage."
"I hope [Iran's judiciary] will pay close attention to all the evidence in the file, and judge justly and fairly, and also they should be compassionate in their judgment and not very harsh." - Reza Saberi, Roxana Saberi’s father
"[Roxana Saberi] should be freed immediately, that the charges against her are baseless, and that she has been subjected to a process that has been nontransparent, unpredictable, arbitrary." - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
1. Where is Iran?
2. What is the current state of U.S-Iranian relations?
3. Why do countries spy on each other?
1. How might this investigation affect the relationship between the United States and Iran?
2. Can you think of any other cases in which Americans have been arrested and tried abroad? What issues can complicate these cases?
3. Roxana Saberi has dual citizenship with both the United States and Iran, although her American citizenship is not recognized by Iran. Do you think that a person should be able to be a citizen of two countries? Why or why not?