Iran says detained Americans "not hikers": spokesman

14:32, May 25, 2011      

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Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday that the detained Americans by Iranian border police were not hikers.

Three detained Americans, Josh Fattal, Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer, were arrested in Iran on July 31, 2009 for illegally entering Iran's western border and were later charged with espionage. The U.S. government considered the charges totally unfounded.

Sarah Shourd, once jailed in Iran with the other two Americans, was released by Tehran's prosecutor in September on bail of 500, 000 U.S. dollars due to her health situation.

"The U.S. officials insist on calling them hikers and innocent, " Mehmanparast said, adding that "they are not hikers."

"How is it possible for some Americans do hiking in sensitive border areas between Iran and Iraq for their weekend?" the spokesman said.

They have committed offence and using the term of hikers for them is a joke, he added.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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