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Obama Disappointed by Iran's Treatment of US Journalist

The White House says U.S. President Barack Obama is deeply disappointed that Iran has sentenced an Iranian-American journalist to prison on spying charges.

Roxana Saberi was sentenced to eight years on charges of spying for the United States.

Saberi's lawyer said Saturday he will appeal the verdict handed down by an Iranian court.

Dennis McDonough, a deputy national security advisor to President Obama, said Saberi is an American reporter who was simply practicing journalism.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said U.S. officials will continue to vigorously raise their concerns about the case to Iran's government.

The 31-year-old Saberi had been working in Iran for several news outlets. She was arrested in late January for allegedly working in the country without valid press credentials.

Iranian authorities recently announced espionage charges against her.

They said she used journalism as a cover to pass classified information to U.S. intelligence services - a charge the United States rejected as "baseless."

An official with an international press freedom group, Reporters Without Borders, says his organization is protesting what it calls a "sham" trial. He says the charges against Saberi do not correspond with Iran's penal code.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.