UPI reported today that the State Department has a “growing concern about why [Roxana Saberi’s release] is taking so long to resolve.” Below is the relevant portion of the transcript of acting State Dept. spokeman Robert Wood’s briefing with the media today.
QUESTION: On Roxana Saberi, she’s been in prison for about six weeks, and we’re coming up to, I believe, the festival of Nowruz, which usually takes officials out of Tehran for a couple of weeks, so we’ve got a very small window of opportunity to get some progress on this case.
MR. WOOD: Yeah, I would agree with you. I mean, we want to see this issue – we want to see her case resolved, and we want to see it happen as soon as possible. I don’t have any further update than what I think was given to you maybe on Friday or what I gave you on Thursday. But it’s a case of great concern to us. And we want Iran to provide more information. We want to see her back in the United States.
QUESTION: In your communication via the Swiss, do you sense that the Iranians are dragging their feet on this issue?
MR. WOOD: Well, I certainly hope they’re not dragging their feet. But obviously, there’s growing concern about why this is taking so long to resolve. And you know, we want to do what we can to bring her back home.
QUESTION: The Iranians, though, did say ten days ago that she was just about to be released. What – have you got any indication what the holdup is?
MR. WOOD: No, I haven’t. But we want to see this resolved and quickly. And you know, I’ll check and see if we have any further update to provide you with tomorrow.