Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton this morning demanded that Iran immediately release American journalist Roxana Saberi, who was tried behind closed doors and sentenced by a revolutionary court to eight years in prison on a spying charge.
"We believe she should be freed immediately, that the charges against her are baseless and that she has been subjected to a process that has been non-transparent, unpredictable [and] arbitrary," Clinton told reporters at the State Department.
"We hope that actions will be taken as soon as possible by the authorities in Iran, including the judiciary, to bring about the speedy release of Miss Saberi and her return home," she said, adding that the Obama administration is continuing to work with Swiss intermediaries who represent U.S. interests in Iran to secure her freedom.
"We are ... hoping that these remarks lead to actions," Clinton said, referring to Ahmadinejad's comment on Saberi's appeal.
Iran’s chief justice Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi Monday urged the judiciary to consider immediately an appeal.
Shahroudi has told Tehran’s justice department chief Abbas Ali Alizadeh that the accused has the right to appeal and fair trial, the IRNA news agency quoted judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi as saying.
He asked Alizadeh to consider “all aspects of the case, including material and spiritual elements of the crime fairly, quickly and exactly”.