I RIDE FOR THE BRAND - REX TILLERSON

"My word is my bond. I ride for the brand. Once I am committed, I am in it for the long haul." - Rex Tillerson, US Secretary of State on loyalty.


ICHEOKU says a personification of candor and honor. Nice.


THE RUSSIAN COLLUSION: DEALT A FATAL BLOW.


"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is also no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election." - Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General of the United States of America.

ICHEOKU says this determination, for every intent and purpose, now lays to rest the "Collusion with the Russians" hogwash; as nobody can be guilty of an offense which requires awareness to ground when he or she is not aware of it. Collusion is a conspiracy and requires a proactive participation coupled with a guilty knowledge to bring about the purpose of the conspiracy. Therefore, when will the Special Counsel address the nation and tell Americans that there is no there, there, in the Russian Collusion investigation and save America further bleeding both in resources, time and unity. Enough of the sore loser antics of the Democratic Party which does not know how to take a loss and learn to work to fix what went wrong, instead of continuously pointing a finger at a mirage that is the Russian Collusion, in its bid to find something to blame for its ineptitude that led to the epochal loss of November 8th, 2016.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: DEAD AT 65


ICHEOKU says Uncle Robert Mugabe finaly outlived him; admitted he put up a good fight trying to be president of Zimbabwe but to no avail. He was 65 years old and died of colon cancer. May his soul now rest. Adieu Morgan.


WINTER OLYMPICS PYEONGCHANG 2018

WINTER OLYMPICS PYEONGCHANG 2018,

ICHEOKU says South Korea is hosting the world of Winter Olympics 2018. A stellar preparation and spectacular performances so far. Congratulations to the host country and the gathered athletes who are gathered in Pyeongchang South Korea for the event.


PERCHED AND REVVING TO ITS ALEINS RENDEZVOUS.

PERCHED AND REVVING TO ITS ALIENS RENDEZVOUS.

ICHEOKU says science and technology are awesome. They make the seemingly impossible, possible. Elon Musk's personal Tesla Roadster enroute to Mars atmospheric orbit. Congratulations to Elon Musk and his SpaceX and Tesla teams.


OBAMA: WHAT DID HE KNOW.


ICHEOKU says what did former President Barack Hussein Obama know and when did he know it. America people must demand of their leaders a full disclosure and full accountability in the unfolding FBI released memo scandal. Only by getting to the bottom of the matter will American people regain their confidence in their law enforcement agencies.


FBI MEMO SCANDAL: OBAMA WAS IN THE LOOP


"POTUS WANTS TO KNOW EVERYTHING WE ARE DOING." - Lisa Page to boyfriend Peter Strzok, two FBI officials.


ICHEOKU says the POTUS then was President Barack Hussein Obama, who had previously denied and lied to the American people that he does not dabble into any FBI's investigative matter. Really?


THE MEMO: THE CRITICAL AND CRUCIAL POINTS.


Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe admitted that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISA court without the Michael Steele's dossier information. Michael Steele was engaged by Hillary Clinton's campaign and Fusion GPS to obtain dirt information on then candidate Donald John Trump which subsequently produced the infamous Steele's dossier. This is the but-for test: but for the dossier alleging collusion, there would not have been a Mueller's Russian investigation.


Michael Steele admitted to then Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr that he was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not, being president. Bruce Ohr's wife was also then employed by the same Fusion GPS which hired Michael Steele to help it with digging up dirt on Trump. But Bruce Ohr kept this critical bias information and the fact that his own wife was also employed in the illicit dirty job activities by the same Fusion GPS out of the Justice department application to the FISA court to obtain a surveillance warrant that led up to the Russian probe. The dossier was a bogus hatchet job manufactured to just smear and nail Trump.


ICHEOKU says the web of conspiracy could not be any clearer: first you have a desperate Michael Steele who is out to stop the election of Donald Trump at all cost and by all and every means necessary. Then you have interest of financial gains through employment, which probably persuaded the hiding of the vital information from the FISA court. The information could have negated the issuance of the warrant and without which the court might have otherwise declined its issuance. Yet somebody is saying what; that the Russian Investigation is not a big ruse or as the president would say a political WITCH hunt.


AMERICA IS HERE TO STAY - PDJT

AMERICA IS HERE TO STAY - PDJT

"Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never ever forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it's the people who are making America great again. As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve. As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail. Our families will thrive. Our people will prosper. And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free." - President Donald John Trump.


I AM AMERICA'S CHEERLEADER IN CHIEF - PDJT

I AM AMERICA'S CHEERLEADER IN CHIEF - PDJT
"I believe in America. As President of the United States, I will always put America First. Just like the leaders of other countries should put their respective countries first. But America First does not mean America alone. So together, let us resolve to use our power, our resources, and our voices, not just for ourselves, but for our people—to lift their burdens, to raise their hopes, and to empower their dreams. To protect their families, their communities, their histories, and their futures. A nation’s greatness is more than the sum of its production – a nation’s greatness is the sum of its citizens: The values, pride, love, devotion and character of the people who call that nation home." - President Donald John Trump, Davos 2018.

POPE CONDEMNS FAKE NEWS (CNN): SEES WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP

POPE CONDEMNS CNN: AGREES WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP

ICHEOKU says President Donald John Trump, the man who saw tomorrow, has a new ally. Pope Francis has finally seen the light on what the president has been talking about for nearly two years now. The Holy See has now come to appreciate what PDJT went through in the hands of purveyors of Fake News, which unfortunately is continuing till today. The pope called them evil and compared them to the Biblical garden of Eden's serpent, which fed Eve with Fake News about what will happen if she and Adam ate of the forbidden fruit. ICHEOKU commends the pope for finally turning around the corner. Well done papa for calling out the likes of CNN and co. Bravo.

IT IS ONE YEAR TODAY, HURRAY!

IT IS ONE YEAR TODAY, HURRAY!
ICHEOKU says congratulations to President Donald John Trump for successfully steering America's ship of States for a full year. What the naysayers said will not happen is a reality which they are finding extremely difficult to live with. But their preferences notwithstanding, Make America Great Again is on course and nobody will torpedo it. Once again, congratulations to the leader of Team MAGA on the anniversary of his being sworn in as the 45th POTUS.

PRESIDENT TRUMP IN EXCELLENT HEALTH

PRESIDENT TRUMP IN EXCELLENT HEALTH.

ICHEOKU says he submitted himself to the Walter Reed National hospital for a three and half hours medical examination which included his requested, but not required, mental acuity test. The president passed excellently well and aced his IQ test 30/30. ICHEOKU says yet another nail on the coffin of the fake book Fire and Fury hatchet job which had claimed unfounded story about the president's mental health. But will the possessed far left media hordes now take their chill pill and let the president be? Your guess is as good as ICHEOKU's. ICHEOKU says congratulations President Donald John Trump for once again shaming your traducers. It is now all the way live to 2020 and a second term assured victory.


ICHEOKU'S MAN OF THE YEAR 2017: PRESIDENT DONALD JOHN TRUMP

ICHEOKU says following an examination of so many nominated individuals, we have determined that this year 2017's man of the year is President Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America. He came into office shooting on both hips and as the year draws to an end, his both guns are still firing and smoking. For standing up to the world and starring down American detractors and being the cheerleader and champion in chief of America, the leader of Team Make America Great Again has earned ICHEOKU's man of the year award 2017. Congratulations to President Donald John Trump.

JERUSALEM IS ISRAEL'S ETERNAL CAPITAL - PDJT

JERUSALEM IS ISRAEL'S ETERNAL CAPITAL - PDJT
ICHEOKU says a wisdom of Solomon come to judgment; it is about time the child is given to the rightful mother. Salute to the courage of President Donald John Trump.

PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE ARE ENGAGED: HURRAY!

ICHEOKU says they look nice together and hopefully the crazy media and their paparazzi hordes will let them be and not force them into a life of misery or accidentally run them off the cliff. Lady Di's tragic experience is still painfully fresh till this day and no one, not ICHEOKU, wants to relive or experience such awfulness again, NEVER again. May God protect and bless the duo as they take their baby steps into the journey of of so many unknown absurdities called marriage. All the best Harry and Meghan.


AMERICA STRONG!

"Together with our allies, America's warriors are prepared to defend our nation using the full range of our unmatched capabilities. No one — no dictator, no regime and no nation — should underestimate, ever, American resolve."


RUSSIAN COLLUSION: EVIDENCE FOUND!

RUSSIAN COLLUSION: EVIDENCE EMERGES!

ICHEOKU says Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton was caught pants down colluding with the Russians and she has been trying so hard to pull the wool over the eyes of American people over whodunnit. What a lying, contriving, manipulative woman who lies so easily that you wonder whether truth actually exists in her lexicon. Pitiful.

RUSSIAN DOSSIER: PAID FOR BY HILLARY CLINTON

RUSSIAN DOSSIER: PAID FOR BY CLINTON

ICHEOKU says finally the circle is about being completed and American people and the world at large will come to know who in fact did the collusion. Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Congress paid Fusion GPS to produce the fake Russian dossier which former CIA chief James Clapper said was the basis for the Trump investigation. Yet, the investigation is still ongoing, despite the now established fact that the basis of it was a manufactured phony. But hey, we shall see.


ICHEOKU says still wondering WHAT HAPPENED and the reason 33,000 emails were deleted and bleach washed? Hopefully American people will soon confirm their suspicion that those shouting themselves hoax with Russian Collusion might indeed be the ones who actually colluded with the Russians. So much for the Russian Reset button. Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton, simply too crooked.


GLAD TO BE CARRIED TO FULL TERM.

GRATEFUL TO BE CARRIED FULL TERM

ICHEOKU says another lucky one that survived the abortionist's pincers from the over 360,000 unlucky ones that get flushed out each year. May God help us all have a better resolution about unwanted pregnancies.


JUST SAY NO TO KNEELING: IT IS UN-AMERICAN.

JUST SAY NO TO KNEELING: IT IS UN-AMERICAN.
ICHEOKU says from being disrespectful to the flag to being unappreciative of the services of the military to overall being anti America; NFL players must learn to check their political activism outside the stadiums. They must not kneel on our dime. ICHEOKU supports the president 1000% on this and hereby calls on every player to respect the sensibilities of the many differently opined fans who paid to watch a game and not to be made mad by their personal political agenda.

IPOB: NOT A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION - USA


“The United States Government is strongly committed to Nigeria’s unity. Important political and economic issues affecting the Nigerian people, such as the allocation of resources, are worthwhile topics for respectful debate in a democracy. Within the context of unity, we encourage all Nigerians to support a de-escalation of tensions and peaceful resolution of grievances. The Indigenous People of Biafra is not a terrorist organization under US law.” - Russell Brooks, United States of America.

ROCKET MAN; ON A SUICIDE MISSION.



"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about; that’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do." - PDJT


DONATE TODAY TO HELP REBUILD LIVES!

DONATE TODAY TO HELP REBUILD LIVES!

ICHEOKU says the Red Cross does one heck of a good job going to the assistance of the needy; so in these times of great need, occasioned by so many hurricanes, flooding and earthquake, show that you really care, donate to help the victims rebuild their wrecked lives. Remember that the Almighty rewards a cheerful giver.

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER

"When you lose to somebody who has a 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself. So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that." - Senator Charles Schumer, Senior Senator from the State of New York and Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate. ICHEOKU says the statement spoke volume and it spoke for itself. Finally it seems the Democrats have finally turned the corner and are now ready to face up to their abysmal performance in the last presidential election by acknowledging that the American people indeed choose Trump over their Hillary Clinton. Thankfully, they will also now rest their "Russians Did It" cockamamie and find a message they can present to the people and for the good of the country.. Time to move the process forward is now as American people did not buy into the crap of a Russian collusion which they tried unsuccessfully to sell to them.

North Korea PUT ON NOTICE

NORTH KOREA  PUT ON NOTICE: DON'T PUSH ME.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. As I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power." - President Donald John Trump. ICHEOKU says the Michelin Tire midget at Pyongyang is definitely courting trouble and messing with the wrong man. He probably thinks Barack Obama the redline president is still in office; but unbeknownst to him there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Donald John Trump and he does not mess around. Hopefully China can rein in the little man before he commits mass suicide with his North Korean people.

NORTH KOREA: TOTAL ANNIHILATION NOW ON THE TABLE.

NORTH KOREA: TOTAL ANNIHILATION NOW ON THE TABLE.

ICHEOKU says once again the diminutive midget of Pyongyang has been advised to heed the resolution of the United Nations firm stand against his continuing provocations; and that the total wiping out of his North Korea is now an option should he force the hands of the United States of American military. In a statement by the Defense Secretary Jim Maddog Mattis over its latest nuclear test, the secretary said “Our commitment among the allies are ironclad. Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so.” ICHEOKU says does not really know the joker that guy has, but whatever it is will likely very soon be forced out. The world including ICHEOKU is waiting and watching.

BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY

BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY
ICHEOKU says the time has come and the time is now for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to be allowed to choose their self governance and exit from Nigeria going forward.. A referendum on the future of Biafra is a legitimate demand of the people and it is their right to so do. The people of the Nation of Biafra want to go their own way because of the hostilities from other member nations of Nigeria. Let the United Nations order a referendum and let the people decide their own Biafraexit.

PDJT ISSUES A VERDICT ON ISLAMIST TERRORISTS


"There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it. Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God; they worship death. If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen and what will be the end result. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread, peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence, and the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered. If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God." - President Donald John Trump.


BBOB: BRING BACK OUR BIAFRA

ICHEOKU says it is worth fighting for, self determination and it is not a crime for a people to aspire for self governance. Indigenous Peoples of Biafra are marching forward and hopefully they will soon get to the promised land. Viva Biafra.
#BringBackOurBiafra.





"When two raging fires meet together, they do consume the thing that feeds their fury. Though little fire grows great with little wind, yet extreme gusts do blow out fire." - William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew


WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN LIFE - STEVE JOBS

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. Memories precipitated by love is the only true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. The most expensive bed in the world is the sick bed. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life. Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others.” - SJ

EVIL CANNOT BE TRULY DESTROYED.

"The threat of evil is ever present. We can contain it as long as we stay vigilant, but it can never truly be destroyed. - Lorraine Warren (Annabelle, the movie)


ONLY THE POOR WISH THEY HAD STUFF?

“I’m not that interested in material things. As long as I find a good bed that I can sleep in, that’s enough.” - Nicolas Berggruem, the homeless billionaire.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

ROXANA SABERI, EVIDENCE OF IRAN'S UNCLENCHING FIST?

A recalcitrant Iran dealt the world and United States of America a blow with the incarceration of the Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi. When the whole world is warming up to the new administration in Washington with a view to starting afresh, Iran is walking away into the cold? Icheoku says, this is not the kind of overture a willing peace partner exhibits.
Why should the Iranian regime continue to present a clenched fist when a hand of fellowship has been extended to it by Washington? Even Venezuela's Hugo Chavez understands that it is a new day and things are no longer what they use to be! With the firm handshake between President Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez, one would have expected the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime in Tehran to act in this case, in a way suggestive of a regime desirous to press the reset button with the United States? But no, they jailed a reporter for allegedly spying, after a trial in camera?

Icheoku says, admitted it is hard to teach an old dog a new trick but the henchmen in Tehran should understand that those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable. They ought to know that the hand of friendship extended by America will not hang out there in perpetuity, should they refuse and not take it now. There is always a span of life for everything as President Barack Obama might not forever retain the support and goodwill of the American people to continue to woo an unwilling suitor? Iranians, show President Obama that there is reason to hope and try, otherwise the America patient might run out and pretty soon too? The Iranians should be very much aware that, should the inevitable occurs and their obstinacy results in a show-down, that they cannot win the ensuing antagonism or confrontation.

Icheoku says, the proper thing for Iran to do in the spirit of the new quest for friendship with Washington, is not to convict Miss Saberi behind closed doors as the apparent lack of transparency defeats whatever evidence of culpability that may exist. Justice they say, must not only be done but must be seen to be done; and such was not the case under the present advisement. Because of the bamboozled nature of the trial, any resulting sentence should not have been as harsh as eight long years for a young Iranian woman whose future has been greatly compromised by this sentence, assuming she serves it in full. Other alternatives exists for the Iranians which they would have exercised, such as deport Miss Saberi back to the United States, declare Miss Saberi a persona-non-grata in Iran, revoke her Iranian passport, denude her of her Iranian citizenship or to clear all the cloud of illegitimacy hanging over this conviction, conduct her trial in the open so that the world can appreciate the degree of her "covet operations" in Iran? But to simply rail-road her into prison on a trumped-up charge of espionage smacks of a regime which is not prepared to change its repressive ways; or for lack of a better word, smarting for confrontation? As a wise counsel posits, the Iranian regime should beware of what they wish for as they might eventually get it?
Roxana Saberi, 31, who shares dual American and Iranian citizenship (daughter of an Iranian father and a Japanese mother), has been studying for her third masters degree and working in Iran for the past six years. The also former Miss North Dakota and a top 10 finalists in Miss America 1998 was arrested in January 2009 for allegedly spying for her naturalised country, the United States of America? Now the Iranians have jailed their daughter for eight long years after convicting her for espionage, in a trial held behind closed doors by Iran's Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court? A trial that could at most, be characterised as a kangaroo trial? It is regrettable that whatever evidence of the alleged espionage was not made public for veracity, despite a possible claim of state security and secrecy? Such was the secrecy of Roxana Saberi's trial that not even her father was allowed to attend his daughter's trial? And this is justice?
Iranians shifting of the goal-post from the initial accusation of buying alcohol and later of working as a journalist without a valid press card to the final whammy of spying, shows a regime fishing for a reason and desirous of making a confrontational statement? Icheoku says, such attitudinal idiosyncrasy of the Iranian government is unwholesome and simply reflective of a warped doomsday-harbinger, that is both daft and dumb! Iranians should understand that friendship requires sacrifice in the spirit of give and take, geared towards meeting of the minds which their current action does not buttress. It is with this background that Icheoku calls on Iranian government to use this God given opportunity to soften its image and release Roxana Saberi forthwith. The Iranians can ask Miss Saberi to leave Iran if they feel so impassioned, but to imprison this woman for eight long gruelling years, with no apparent convincing evidence of her complicity in an espionage, is not a cordial move especially at this time of a thawing of relations between Tehran and Washington!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Roxana Saberi: Out of Iranian Prison, Into a Soap Opera
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Play Video Video:Out of Jail FOX News Play Video Video:Saberi Released From Jail, Reunited With Parents WCCO Minneapolis AFP – This 2004 National Press Photographers association file image shows US-Iranian reporter Roxana Saberi, … By NAHID SIAMDOUST / TEHRAN Nahid Siamdoust / Tehran – 48 mins ago
In an unexpectedly swift move, a Tehran court reduced the sentence of Iranian-American reporter Roxana Saberi and released her from prison on Monday, only a day after she appealed her case in court. Last month, Saberi had been sentenced to eight years imprisonment on charges of spying for the United States, causing tension between the two countries at a time when President Barack Obama had declared his Administration's intention to improve relations with Iran.


Just before the official announcement came, Saberi's parents and lawyers, as well as dozens of reporters, had gathered in front of Tehran's Evin prison in anticipation of her release. Reza Saberi, the reporter's father, was visibly expectant, and said that finally "things were moving on a rational track." The reporter's mother paced in front of the entrance impatiently, at times stopping to stand with her arms akimbo and dropping her head, at others squatting down to sob into a napkin. When the journalist was finally released, she was taken through a back door, out of reporters' view. Later, in front of her home in the north of Tehran, her father said she was in good health and had been taken to a relative's house to rest. He had come to collect a few things for her, he said, and the next days would be spent "preparing her departure from Iran." (See pictures of the contemporary face of Iran.)


Saberi is free to leave Iran, even though her two-year prison term for spying has only been suspended. The only stipulation was that she not commit a criminal act within the next five years. If that requirement is met, the sentence will expire and she will be cleared.


Iranian intelligence officials had been particularly suspicious of a trip Saberi had made to Israel, as well as her relationship with U.S. government officials. "From an intelligence perspective, there were issues that were sensitive, but Saberi was able to convince the judges that there was no intention of espionage whatsoever," said one of her lawyers, Saleh Nikbakht. (See pictures of daily life in Iran.)


Nikbakht and her other lawyer Abdolsamad Khoramshahi told TIME that the turning point in the five-hour appeals court session on Sunday was their argument that Iran and the United States were not at war. Saberi had initially been charged with spying for an enemy country. Nikbakht explained that in 2003, when another journalist and political analyst, Abbas Abdi, was charged with the same crime for publishing a poll that showed 74% of Iranians favored dialogue with the United States, he proved in court that this charge was legally unsound because Iran was not at war with the U.S., a point emphasized by citing a ruling by the Iranian parliament's National Security Commission, which was, most importantly, approved by the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. This same argument, Nikbakht said, persuaded the judges that, "from a purely legal point of view, Saberi's actions were free of that crime. There is no basis at all for espionage in her file."


In the end, the court found Saberi guilty based on Article 505 of Iran's Islamic Penal Code, which states, in loose terms, that any person who collects classified information and puts it at the service of "others" with the goal of destabilizing national security is committing a crime. Previously, Saberi had been charged with putting that information at the service of an "enemy country that Iran is at war with," according to Nikbakht. That wording was dropped, reducing her crime.


Due to the national security nature of the case, no one except Saberi herself and her two lawyers were allowed in the closed court on Sunday. One reporter who caught a glimpse of her as she left the court building said Saberi was wearing a black chador, "pale and emaciated." (Saberi had been on a hunger strike last week.) Both her lawyers told TIME the court session was extremely fair, and Nikbakht said, "What has happened is a victory for justice in Iran." (See pictures of the fashion styles of Muslim women from iran to Oman.)


The U.S.-born reporter of Iranian and Japanese descent had become a cause celebre back home in America because of her incarceration and sentencing. A former Miss North Dakota, she studied journalism at Northwestern University before moving to Iran six years ago. Before her press credentials were withdrawn in 2006, Saberi had been a freelance reporter for various media outlets, including the BBC World Service, NPR, and Fox News.


Abdi, the analyst whose case was cited in winning Saberi's release, was surprised by the ruling. (He spent two years in prison before being acquitted.) Said he: "These are all just political games." Without the international pressure, as well as appeals by both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, many suspect, Saberi could still be sitting in prison, like others charged with similar crimes, whose cases have not received similar international attention. Among them is Silva Harotonian, an Iranian-Armenian humanitarian aide worker charged with "plotting a soft revolution."


Even as Saberi's parents rejoiced at her release there was additional drama in front of the prison. Also waiting there was internationally acclaimed filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi, who had published an open letter last month declaring that Saberi was his fiancee. He told TIME that he believed it was in great part because of his endeavors that Saberi was being released so quickly. He said he had a meeting with government and judiciary officials a few days ago, in which he explained to them the importance of Saberi appearing at the opening of his new film on Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, "because she was going to talk about the Persian Gulf. I told them it would be good for Iran." Ghobadi has cited Saberi as a co-writer on his latest film.


There was clear friction between Ghobadi and Saberi's parents, who kept themselves several feet apart from the director. At one point, Ghobadi approached Saberi's visibly shaken mother, but she pushed him away, motioning him away with her hands. After Ghobadi's letter, Reza Saberi announced that he could not confirm Ghobadi as his daughter's fiancee. One source close to the family said they perceive him as taking advantage of her recent newsworthiness to publicize his film, and wonder why he was not speaking out for her before her case attracted such international attention. Ghobadi said he had been ordered to keep silent by sources he could not reveal, and finally broke his silence when he "could no longer hold it."


The most plausible explanation for Saberi's immediate release came from a source close to the case, who asked for anonymity. "The government simply did not want to have this hugely sensationalized and publicized case hovering over it right before the elections. [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad asked [Judiciary Chief Mahmoud Hashemi] Shahroudi to put an end to this," the source said. (Read why Ahmadinejad was intervening in the Saberi case.)


With only about a month left until Iran's presidential elections, as well as a generally positive mood among Iranians for better relations with the administration of President Obama, it appears that Saberi's case had become too much of a liability for Iran. Certainly, her release is an immense relief for her family and friends, but ironically, it also appears to be a relief for the Islamic Republic.

Anonymous said...

Icheoku congratulates the Iranian authorities for showing good faith by releasing journalist, accused spy, Roxana Saberi! It is a victory for dialogue and another plus for President Barack Obama's chosen part of talk first! For our initial commentary on this, would have been international incident, click: iran let go of roxana saberi