The parents of an Iranian-American journalist jailed for spying in Iran says the woman was coerced into making statements that led to her conviction.
Roxana Saberi was given an eight year sentence by a court in Tehran. She was arrested in January for working in Iran after her press credentials had expired. Saberi’s mother and father, who flew from the US to visit her in prison, say she retracted the incriminating statements that, they say, she was deceived into making. They said she talked of going on hunger strike. The affair threatens to undermine a recent diplomatic drive by the Obama administration to improve relations between the US and Iran. It has shown signs of bearing fruit recently with President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad avoiding anti-American rhetoric in a major speech on Saturday. On Wednesday he indicated Tehran would be open to talks with Washington on Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.