Friday, April 24, 2009

Iran reveals true self by imprisoning U.S. journalist

The sad truth behind the jailing, and recent espionage conviction, of a U.S. journalist in Iran is that the regime in Tehran does not respect people, particularly people it believes are its enemies, and cannot be trusted to do what's right. The offbase rantings of the country's president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, demonstrates just how little regard Tehran has for the truth and, by extension, its international obligations. It's no wonder, then, that his regime is the subject of international economic sanctions aimed at restricting its access to nuclear materials. The Western countries all share the understanding that Iran cannot be trusted with nuclear capability, even as they hypocritically enrich the country by refusing to end their dependence on imported oil. The January arrest and last week's secret prosecution of U.S. journalist Roxana Saberi of North Dakota adds more mistrust to the fire. Saberi, an Iranian-American who has been reporting from Iran for National Public Radio and other news organizations for years, was jailed for not having permission from the government, which revoked her credentials in 2006, according to Cable News Network (CNN). Her father, Reza Saberi, said she is on a hunger strike. Roxana Saberi was sentenced to eight years in prison after a one-day trial conducted in secret, CNN said. "Without press credentials and under the name of being a reporter, she was carrying out espionage activities," Hassan Haddad, a deputy public prosecutor, told the Iranian Students News Agency, CNN reported. Authorities also said Saberi confessed. But Iran's is not a trustworthy account, given its already compromised regime. All Tehran is accomplishing now is making it harder to be accepted into the civilized nations' club, which is where Iran will have to be if it hopes to survive for yet another century.

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