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Page last updated at 22:17 GMT, Friday, 22 May 2009 23:17 UK

Reporter Saberi returns to the US

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Roxana Saberi: "I am so happy to be back home, in the land of the free"

Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi has arrived in the US 11 days after she was freed from jail in Iran.

She touched down at Washington Dulles airport with her parents after spending a week recuperating in Vienna.

Ms Saberi, 32, from Fargo in North Dakota, was freed last Monday after spending four months in prison on spying charges, which she denied.

She told reporters at the airport how singing the US national anthem had helped to keep her going in jail.

"It may sound corny, but I'm so happy to be home in the land of the free," she said.

She was originally sentenced to eight years, but the term was cut on appeal to a two-year suspended sentence.

Classified document

Roxana Saberi told reporters in Washington that she wanted to thank President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, North Dakota congressmen, human rights groups and the Japanese government.

"I wish I could personally thank all those who supported me during my 100 days in prison," she said.

She was originally arrested and accused of buying alcohol, and later of working as a reporter without a valid press card.

Then the spying charge was introduced and she was tried and sentenced behind closed doors.

Following her release, one of her lawyers said she was convicted of spying for the US partly because she had obtained a classified document .

The lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, said she had access to a confidential Iranian report on the US war in Iraq - but had not used it.

Ms Saberi has worked as a freelance journalist for news organisations, including the BBC and National Public Radio (NPR).



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SEE ALSO
Saberi 'had classified document'
13 May 09 |  Middle East
Freed Saberi thanks supporters
12 May 09 |  Middle East
Reporter Saberi leaves Iran jail
11 May 09 |  Middle East
Profile: Roxana Saberi
15 May 09 |  Middle East

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