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Saberi Case Involved Think Tank

Journalist Roxana Saberi was released from an Iranian prison yesterday, her eight-year jail term for espionage reduced to two-years and suspended.



According to today's papers, Saberi's lock-up was directly related to the goings-on at a Tehran-based think tank (and yes, we realize how differently that term can be interpreted.) From the Los Angeles Times:


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"The prosecutor accused Saberi of passing on to American officials a classified Iranian report about U.S. involvement in Iraq that she obtained while working at the Strategic Studies Center of Iran's Expediency Council, a powerful board of clerics that mediates government disputes, [one of her attorneys, Saleh] Nikbakht said.



"She was also accused of visiting Israel four or five times, considered a crime for Iranian nationals, and accused of having sexual relations with Iranian officials.



"Saberi apologized for possessing the think tank document; she denied having any intimate relations with Iranian officials and said she made two visits to Israel to look for journalism work, Nikbakht said."





In James McGann's "2008 Global Go To Think Tanks" report, The Strategic Studies Center is not among the 407 independent tanks nominated as a leading tank by peers and other observers. The report does note there are 12 tanks located in Iran.



Also, unrelated: Does anyone reading this post know much about this institute -- the Center for Scientific Research and MIddle East Strategic Studies? The web pages, if not current, are intriguing. Feel free to post a comment or send an email to lathinktank at gee mail dot com.

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