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Nasser Karimi, Published April 06 2009

SABERI UPDATE: Parents visit former Fargo journalist in Iran jail

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - The parents of an American-Iranian journalist jailed for two months in Iran visited their daughter in prison on Monday, their lawyer said.

The couple from North Dakota met with their daughter, Roxana Saberi, for half an hour at Evin prison for the first time since finding out about her arrest in a Feb. 10 phone call from her, said the lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshai.

Iranian prosecutors have issued a formal indictment against Saberi, though the lawyer said he will not be permitted to see the charges before next week at the earliest.

Iranian officials have said Saberi was arrested for working in the country after her press credentials had expired.

Her case is to be reviewed, probably next month, by the Revolutionary Court, which usually handles cases involving threats to state security, Khorramshai said on Sunday.

Saberi grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, and is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Iran. She has lived in Iran for six years and has reported for several news organizations.

Her parents, Reza and Akiko, arrived in Iran on Sunday as part of their efforts to seek her release. They could not be reached for comment on Monday, but the lawyer said they were pleased after their meeting with their daughter.

``They said Roxana was in good health and in good spirits,' Khorramshai said.

The lawyer was not allowed to accompany them into the meeting room because Monday's weekly visitation period is only for relatives of prisoners.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said last week the United States had given a letter to Iranian officials during a meeting in Europe, seeking Iran's help in resolving the cases of Saberi and two other Americans missing or detained in Iran.

The returns of Saberi, Robert Levinson and Esha Momeni would be a humanitarian gesture, the letter said.

Levinson, a retired FBI agent from Coral Springs, Florida, was last seen on Iran's Kish Island on March 8, 2007. He disappeared in Iran while investigating cigarette smuggling for a client of his private security firm.

Momeni, a dual U.S. and Iranian national, was visiting Tehran to research a master's thesis on the women's rights movement in Iran. Momeni, born in Los Angeles, was arrested Oct. 15 on a traffic violation.

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