Iran's official news agency says the country's judiciary chief has ordered a full investigation into the case of an U.S. journalist convicted of spying and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi's order Monday comes a day after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Roxana Saberi should be allowed to offer a full defense during her appeal.

The IRNA report says the investigation will be carried out during the appeals process.

President Barack Obama has said he was "gravely concerned" about Saberi and was confident she wasn't involved in espionage.

The case has complicated Obama's efforts to break a 30-year diplomatic deadlock between the two countries.