Hero's welcome for freed journalist Roxana Saberi

Journalist Roxana Saberi received a hero’s welcome when she returned home to North Dakota after being released from prison in Iran.

Saberi, 32, was greeted at the Fargo airport on Saturday by a crowd of well-wishers and “Welcome home, Roxana” signs.

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

“It’s the first time I’ve ever really cried in public,” she said.

Governor John Hoeven, among the officials who met her after she stepped off the plane, called it a “happy day for the people of North Dakota”.

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

Saberi, who lived in Iran for six years and has dual citizenship, was arrested on 31 January and charged with spying for the US.

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

She grew up in Fargo where her parents still live.

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