Jailed U.S. Hikers in Iran May Soon Be Released
Two American hikers who have been held in Iranian prison for over two years for convictions on espionage and ilegally crossing the border may have new hopes for being released.
Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer were hiking in Iraq near the Iranian border with their friend, Sarah Shourd in 2009 when they were arrested on suspicion of spying after inadvertantly crossing the border. Shourd won her release in September 2010 on $500,000 bail.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Fattal and Bauer could be released in "two days" in an NBC appearance scheduled to air Tuesday night. The men would be released on condition of $500,000 bail each.
Attorney Masoud Shafiei, who represents the men in Iranian court, says that he has contacted the men's families to inform them of the bail decision issued by Iran's Revolutionary Court, according to the LA Times.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States is hopeful for the quick release of the two remaining American detainees. Clinton said Tuesday that the United States is "encouraged" by Ahmadinejad's comments on working to free Bauer and Fattal.
Ahmadinejad's announcement comes after repeated demands by President Obama and U.S. officials that the men be released. This has added tension to the already frail relations between the United States and Iran. The men's families remain hopeful for the pair's release.