Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another Iran Hostage

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2009
War On Terror: Can it be a coincidence that just as we soften relations with Iran, the terror state imprisons a U.S. journalist for "espionage"? Tehran knows: A hostage is a bargaining chip.
The two most infamous times the Islamo-fascist regime in Iran humiliated the U.S. involved hostage-taking by forces under Tehran's influence.
From 1979 to 1981, 52 U.S. Embassy personnel were held captive by Iranian students for 444 days. They were released only minutes after the inauguration of President Reagan, who had made it clear he would take swift action against the "barbarians" in Iran.

Saberi: No Reagan this time.
Then in 1986, the Reagan administration's Iran-Contra affair erupted, involving attempts to free six U.S. hostages held by the Iranian-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. Tehran ended up getting weapons from the U.S. in a botched arms-for-hostages deal, some of the financial proceeds of which went to help Nicaragua's Contra freedom fighters.
The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — supreme ruler of Iran for two decades, an architect of the country's 1979 Islamist revolution and close adviser to the Ayatollah Khomeini — knows the value of an American hostage.
Roxana Saberi is a 31-year-old former Miss North Dakota of Iranian descent who for the last six years has worked in Iran as a freelance journalist for the BBC, Fox News, National Public Radio and others. On Saturday, she was sentenced to eight years in prison for espionage after being first arrested in February for the heinous crime of buying a bottle of wine.
An Iranian judiciary spokesman on Tuesday suggested Saberi's sentence might be reconsidered on appeal. Khamenei calls the shots in the courts, as he does for the rest of Iran's government.
In 2007, for instance, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had the regime's former top nuclear negotiator, Hossein Mousavian, arrested for spying, Khamenei wasted little time ordering Iran's judiciary to dismiss the charges.
Perhaps Khamenei will soon commute Saberi's sentence, currying international favor as Iran marches steadily toward nuclear capability. Or maybe he'll reduce her jail time, then seek concessions from the U.S. in nuclear talks. Or maybe he'll let her go to buy more time to build a weapon or produce bomb-grade fuel.

Still, one can't help wondering: Would this talented young American woman be sitting in a squalid Iranian jail cell right now as a potential human bargaining chip if the U.S. hadn't extended an olive branch to this murderous regime?

"Chuck on the Right Side"

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