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Iranian President Feels North Dakotan Journalist Deserves Full Defense

An Iranian-American journalist from Fargo convicted of espionage against Iran has been giving the ability to defend herself in Iranian court preceding.

Roxana Saberi, 31, was arrested in January for the petty charge of purchasing alcohol, which proceeded to working in Iran with an expired permit was later transformed into charges of espionage and sentenced to 8 years in prison.

The Star Tribune wrote that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a letter to Tehran's chief prosecutor instructing him to personally ensure that "suspects be given all their rights to defend themselves" against the charges. "Prepare for the court proceedings ... to observe and apply justice precisely," the state news agency IRNA quoted him as saying.

The letter came as a sign to the US that President Ahmadinejad does not want this case to spoil future working conditions with the Obama administration.

As reported by the BCC, a spokesman said the US president was "deeply disappointed" at the outcome.

Saberi is the first Iranian-American to be convicted of espionage in Iran and claims she was "coerced and deceived" by Iranian authorities.