TEA LEAVES

Why Iran Freed U.S. Reporter

The Iranians may have released U.S. journalist Roxana Saberi, but they’ve already made a statement—don’t mess with us. When the Iranian authorities arrested Saberi for not having a press pass, they were sending a message to the Iranian media in the run-up to the June presidential election, the BBC reports. But they upgraded her charges to spying as a way to rebuff President Obama’s calls for improved U.S.-Iran relations. Since her arrest was so politically calculated, it’s doubtful her release will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the two countries. So far, Iran has responded icily to Obama’s attempts to talk about the country’s nuclear program.