Ms Saberi, 31, was born in the US and grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, the daughter of Reza Saberi, who was born in Iran, and his wife Akiko, who is from Japan.
In 1997 she was chosen as Miss North Dakota and was among the top 10 finalists in Miss America 1998.
When she received her Miss North Dakota title, Ms Saberi said that her aim was to encourage other people to appreciate cultural differences - an ambition that eventually led her into a career in journalism.
She graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, with degrees in mass communication and French.
Reza Saberi and his wife Akiko
Ms Saberi's father, Reza, is Iranian and her mother, Akiko, is from Japan
Ms Saberi also holds a master's degree in broadcast journalism from Northwestern University in Chicago and another master's degree in international relations from Cambridge University in the UK.
She is currently working on yet another masters degree in Iranian studies.
Ms Saberi moved to Iran six years ago and worked as a freelance journalist for various news organisations, including the BBC, before her press credentials were revoked.
Her father said she had been determined to go to Iran, although he had expressed his concerns.
Mr Saberi said that despite losing her press status, his daughter had stayed on to finish a book on Iran and to study. He said she had planned to return to the US later this year. ( from BBS)