Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Roxana Saberi Released
Iranian American journalist Roxana Saberi was released from Tehran's Evin prison yesterday. Saberi, pictured here with former moderate Iranian President Mohamed Khatami (who is running again in this summers presidential election) was sentenced to eight years recently on charges of spying for the US. Her conviction by many was seen as a kick in the teeth to President Obama who recently expressed his desire to improve relations with Iran in a televised address to the Iranian nation. However the Iranian courts decision to reduce the 8 year sentence to two years suspended could be interpreted as a more favorable response to Obama's conciliatory speech. Obama has come under increasing pressure from the American right who claim that his "speak softly" approach is not producing results. He apologized for American arrogance in Europe yet got few extra troops for Afghanistan, he spoke of nuclear disarmament and the North Koreans launched a missile and he reached out to Iran who responded by locking up an American Journalist. These are the claims being hurled at Obama by the right wing media and blogs in particular. Comparisons to how the Soviets ran rings around Kennedy during his first two years in office and how Ayatollah Khomeini humiliated President Carter are frequently made. Might this latest incident be the first example of Obama's strategy producing results. Maybe, maybe not, I don't know. What do you want from me ?