The Saberi tapes


Journalist Roxana Saberi has given her first in-depth interview to National Public Radio. An edited version airs this afternoon on All Things Considered. Or you can just listen to it now via NPR’s Two Way blog. (mp3).

She says she confessed in Iran to being a spy but later recanted. “To this day I’m still not sure what they arrested me for,” she told Melissa Block. “It wasn’t for buying alcohol; it wasn’t for reporting without a press pass. My interrogators claimed that I was spying for the U.S., and however much I told them that I was not — that I was simply writing a book and doing interviews for a book, which I hoped to use to show English speakers around the world a more balanced and complete picture of Iranian society — however much I told them this, they told me I was lying and that I was a U.S spy.”

(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Skeptic

    As someone who thinks of themselves as an ethical journalist… does anyone else find a problem with the *FIRST* interview Saberi gives re: her Iran ordeal is with the news org. with which she was working?

    I’m not implicating foul play or anything… but still, there are some implications of wrongdoings on her part that led to her arrest… I think the least we (the viewing/listening/reading/paying public audience of NPR) could get some coverage from those not directly associated with her.

    Of course, these days, ethics, shmethics, right? Bow to the almighty dollar.

  • Bob Collins

    I personally don’t see anything unethical about it at all. I think Bob Woodruff gave ABC the first interview after he was hurt in Iraq. I’m trying to think if Terry Anderson gave his first in-depth interview to AP when he was released from Lebanon.

    But what questions do you think Block should’ve asked that she didn’t.

  • Mark Gisleson

    Follow up questions would have been nice. My jaw dropped when Saberi asserted that she wasn’t really arrested for alcohol or reporting. WHY wasn’t that the case? And WHY didn’t Block ask any follow up questions?

    And would it have killed Block to point out that a 12-year-old Afghan child grew up at Gitmo because of less proof than the Iranians claimed to have on Saberi?

    I do not mean to imply wrongdoing on Saberi’s part, just annoyance that her case was reported in a vacuum with no acknowledgment that Bush national security policy was just as odious as Iran’s.