Iran foreign minister says hopes US 'hikers' will be freed

Salehi expresses hope that trial of two Americans acused of spying "will advance in a way that would lead to their freedom."

By REUTERS
August 6, 2011 14:55
1 minute read.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Herwig Prammer)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

TEHRAN - Iran's foreign minister said on Saturday he hoped two Americans jailed for more than two years on spying charges would be freed, the most positive signal yet that their ordeal may soon end.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal are awaiting a verdict from what was supposed to have been the last day of their trial last Sunday. They pleaded not guilty to spying charges after they were arrested on July 31, 2009 near Iran's border with Iraq.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Iran may release detained US hikers soon, says lawyer
Trial of US hikers detained in Iran postponed

"The judicial case of these American nationals is following its course. We hope their trial will advance in a way that would lead to their freedom," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told a news conference in Tehran, according to the students' news agency ISNA.

"We thank the judiciary for treating the issue with justice and fairness. The people at the judiciary will communicate about this issue at the appropriate time."

Along with a third American, Sarah Shourd, who was released on bail in September and returned to the United States, Bauer and Fattal say they were hiking in the mountains of Iraq and if they crossed the unmarked border into Iran it was by mistake.

Their lawyer, Masoud Shafiee, said he expected a verdict within a week of the hearing.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Spying can be punishable by death in Iran but Shafiee has said there is no evidence against his clients and even if found guilty of illegally entering Iran they should be freed due to time already served.

In an interview on the website freethehikers.org, Shourd says she believes the case has become a "tug of war" between Iran and the United States which have been enemies since the 1979 Islamic Revolution which overthrew the US-backed shah.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

The aftermath of an Iranian ballistic missile strike on the Koya headquarters of the KDP-I Iranian o
November 15, 2018
Senior IRGC commander: Israeli agent killed in September strikes on Kurds

By ANNA AHRONHEIM