LONDON, May 15, 2008 -- Freed American journalist Roxana Saberi, accused of espionage by Iran, arrived in Vienna, Austria, this morning to spend time with her family after spending four months in an Iranian prison. But she's not yet ready to speak publicly about her ordeal.
"I know that there have been various statements made about my case over the past few days," Saberi said as she collected her luggage at he Vienna airport. "Nobody knows about it as well as I do, and I will talk about it in the future, I hope, but I am not prepared at this time."
Saberi was detained in Tehran in February for allegedly purchasing a bottle of wine. Iranian officials then charged the journalist with working without credentials, and then with espionage. Saberi was initially sentenced to eight years in prison, but during her incarceration President Obama expressed concern about her treatment.
Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in April that he could not commit to work for Saberi's release, saying, "I am not a judge, and I do not pass judgment over judicial cases. In Iran, the judiciary is independent. I have stressed like others she should be accorded her full rights."
But Ahmadinejad eventually sent a letter to the appeals court asking it to be fair in its ruling. Shortly after, the court suspended her sentence and ordered her release.
Laughing, Saberi said today that she hopes "to find a good dermatologist in Vienna and to relax and be with my family.
"I came to Vienna because I heard it was a calm and relaxing place," said Saberi. "The Austrian ambassador and his family were very helpful to me and my family in this period. So, I want to thank him again and his family and all the other people and nations around the world who helped us in this time."
The 32-year-old freelance reporter went on a two-week hunger strike while locked away in Tehran's Evin prison, which has a wing dedicated to holding political prisoners.
She expressed gratitude to those who supported her during her imprisonment, saying, "I heard that certain people, many people went through a lot of trouble because of me. Some went on a hunger strike. Both journalists and nonjournalists around the world, I've been hearing, supported me very much, and it was very moving for me to hear this."
Saberi's Arrest Exposes Rift Between Hardliners and Moderates
Born in New Jersey to an Iranian father and Japanese mother, Saberi was raised in Fargo, N.D., and was named Miss North Dakota in 1997. The following year she made Miss America's top 10. Saberi lived in Iran for six years and worked for several media outlets as a freelancer, occasionally filing reports for ABC News Radio, but in 2006, her press credentials were revoked.
The one-time beauty queen's case exposed rifts between hardliners and moderates in the Iranian government, and it put her at the center of a renewed U.S. effort to engage Iran on a range of issues.
For now, Saberi said she wants to rest, enjoy her family and think about what she has gone through.