Journalist freed from Iran welcomed home

May 30, 2009 2:54:03 PM PDT
Journalist Roxana Saberi, released from prison in Iran earlier this month, is back in North Dakota.

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The 32-year-old Saberi was greeted at the Fargo airport by a crowd of well-wishers and "Welcome home, Roxana" signs.

Saberi, fighting back tears, said she was surprised at the emotions she felt.

"It's the first time I've ever really cried in public," she said.

Gov. John Hoeven and Rep. Earl Pomeroy were among the officials who met her after she stepped off the plane Saturday afternoon.

Hoeven called it a "happy day for the people of North Dakota."

Students and teachers from her alma mater, Concordia College in neighboring Moorhead, Minn., brought maroon and gold balloons.

Saberi, who lived in Iran for six years and has dual citizenship, was arrested Jan. 31 and charged with spying for the United States.

She was sentenced to eight years in prison, but an appeals court reduced that to a two-year suspended sentence and released her on May 11.

She grew up in Fargo where her parents still live.

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