After Iran Frees Saberi, Will the U.S. Reciprocate?

As the U.S. demanded the release of the jailed journalist, Tehran pressed for the return of three of its officials detained by the U.S. in Iraq

Majid Saeedi / Getty

Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi talks with media on May 12, 2009 in Tehran, Iran. Saberi had been freed from prison on Monday after an appeals court suspended her eight-year jail sentence.

Two weeks ago, a senior European diplomat arrived in Washington with a message from the Iranian government. The Iranians saw a parallel between the case of captive American journalist Roxana Saberi and that of three Iranian diplomats held by the U.S. military in Iraq. The Iranians were not demanding an exchange of prisoners, the European envoy told TIME, but were setting up a more subtle test of the Obama Administration's intentions. Now that Saberi has been released, Tehran will be watching the U.S. reaction for signs of a reciprocal goodwill gesture.

In public, the U.S. rejects...

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