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Mila Koumpilova, Published March 06 2009

Media outlets reporting Fargo journalist Roxana Saberi may soon be released from Iranian jail

FARGO - The father of a Fargo journalist detained in Iran is cautiously optimistic about media reports that his daughter will be released in a few days.

According to reports this morning by Reuters and other news outlets, the Tehran prosecutor’s office said an investigation of freelance journalist Roxana Saberi is complete and she will be freed soon.

But Saberi’s father, Reza, said the family’s lawyer wasn’t able to confirm the news because Friday is a holiday in the Islamic state. The lawyer is still scheduled to visit Saberi at Tehran’s Evin prison tomorrow morning.

Reza Saberi also said the family is unsure if his daughter will be free to leave the country or if she’ll be released conditionally pending charges against her.

“We consider this good news,” said Saberi, who learned the news during a 6 a.m. call from a National Public Radio reporter that roused him from sleep. “How good, we’ll have to see.”

Saberi, who has contributed to NPR, CNN and other media, has been detained in Iran for more than a month. Iran’s judiciary has said she was working illegally after her press pass was revoked two years ago.

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for her Saberi’s immediate release.

For more on this story, read tomorrow’s Forum.