An Iranian revolutionary court sentenced U.S.-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi, who was put on trial for spying for the United States, to eight years in jail, a relative told AFP Saturday.
"Roxana's father (Reza Saberi) informed me that she has been sentenced to eight years in jail," the relative told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Saberi, 31, was detained in a notorious Tehran prison since January and went on trial behind closed doors on Monday on charges of spying for the United States. It was an unusually swift one-day trial.
"She has been sentenced to eight years ... I will definetely appeal," lawyer Abdolsamad Khorramshahi said.
The court ruling comes despite calls by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for Saberi's release and President Barack Obama’s diplomatic overtures to Iran. Her charges have been called baseless.
The sentence is the harshest meted out to a dual-national on security charges. Several U.S.-Iranians including academics, were detained in recent years on security accusations but released in months.
U.S.-born Saberi reported for U.S.-based National Public Radio (NPR), the BBC and Fox News, and had lived in Iran for six years.
In March, foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi said Saberi’s press card was revoked in 2006 and since then she had been working "illegally."
Last month the parents appealed to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for her release, saying she was in a “dangerous" mental state.
Saberi worked as a freelance reporter for news organizations including the National Public Radio.