As the plight of Roxana Saberi continues to garner much well deserved international atttention, one has to wonder how many issues or violations is it intended to cover up or divert attention from and what the grand bargain will be for her release.
While the 444 day hostage ordeal is soon becoming a distant memory in Iran’s post revolution relationship with the world and the US in particular, one cannot help but note the similar galvanizing impact of Roxana Saberi’s imprisonment on a multitude of critical issues that Iran has had to contend with while it has been under the scrutiny of the international community.
Her unique profile as a single woman who reported from Iran for many years and the implausability of the charges brought against her, combine to create the necessary intrigue and attention that is already demonstrating its potential to put on hold many pressing issues that the West has with Iran. These, to name a few, include its relationship with the West, its rhetoric on the Mid-East, its nuclear program, human rights violations, and finally the tightening of trade sanctions.
Each of these has at least a half dozen specific issues of contention and they appear to have been masterfully placed on hold for a time when a grand bargain can be struck that addresses Iran’s internal strain in society.
On the issue of human rights and minorities in general, and Baha’is in specific, the crack-down has intensified.
I fear that Roxana Saberi’s hunger strike will not end the ordeal for her and her loved ones soon. There are numerous objectives that have to be met and domestically Iran is also at a junction where the regime finds its institutions decaying from within and therefore has to resort to ever more force and brutality with unintended consequences that further accelerates this process of decay.