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U.S. journalist sentenced to 8 years in prison by Iranian court

An Iranian-American accused of spying for the U.S. was sentenced Saturday by an Iranian court to eight years in prison.

Roxana Saberi, 31, who had reported for the BBC and National Public Radio, faced espionage charges Monday when she appeared before Iran's Revolutionary Court.

Saberi's lawyer said he will appeal the verdict, the cnn.com reported.

Saberi was arrested about three months ago and is being held in Tehran's Evin Prison.

She was charged with spying on Iran, disguised as a journalist, and passing information and documents to U.S. intelligence agencies, the Pioneer Press reported.

The deputy prosecutor for the Revolutionary Court had told Iran's media that Saberi confessed to the charges.

Saberi grew up in North Dakota and holds duel U.S. and Iranian citizenships.

Reza, Saberi's father, traveled to Iran to visit his daughter and follow the trial. He told the Agence France Presse news agency that Saberi said in court that her previous confessions were not true and that she had been tricked into believing she would be released if she cooperated.

It is likely that Saberi's conviction has political motives, especially considering recent negotiations between the U.S. and Iran.

Pioneer Press - http://www.twincities.com/national/ci_12174349?nclick_check=1

cnn.com - http://www.cnn.com/