State Department tweets Ahmadinejad birthday greeting

US spokesman asks Iranian leader to free two imprisoned American hikers as birthday gesture as he celebrates 54th year.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 29, 2010 19:07
1 minute read.
US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.

pj crowley 311. (photo credit: AP)

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's spokesman sent a birthday greeting to the president of Iran, who turned 54 this week.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley urged Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to send American hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer home.

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In a tweet sent Thursday on Ahmadinejad's birthday, Crowley said, "What a gift that would be."

Fattal, Bauer and a third American, Sarah Shourd, were arrested by Iranian forces in July 2009 while hiking near the border of Iran and Iraq. Fattal and Bauer are still being held and are scheduled to stand trial in November on spying charges.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton celebrated her 63rd birthday during a meeting at the United Nations.

When Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger told a small group of reporters during a Tuesday meeting with Clinton that it was her birthday, she interrupted saying: "Oh dear!"

It was not clear if Iran had asked Clinton for a gift to mark her birthday as well.

Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.


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