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North Dakota Journalist Convicted of Spying in Iran

Roxana Saberi, the American journalist who was imprisoned in Iran, has been convicted of spying and sentenced to eight years in prison, the Star Tribune reports .

The verdict marks the first time Iran has found an American journalist guilty of spying, according to the Pioneer Press.

Saberi, 31, appeared before a closed Iranian court Monday, and was sentenced Tuesday in a quick one-day trial. Her parents, who had flown to Iran in an effort to help their daughter, were not allowed to be present during the trial.

President Obama said that he is “deeply disappointed” about the conviction, and the United States has called the accusation baseless and demanded her release.

Saberi, a Fargo, North Dakota native, had lived in Iran for six years and was planning on returning home this year. She had been working on a book about Iranian culture. She had been arrested in January for working without press credentials, but Monday the government leveled much more serious charges on her.