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U.S. disappointed by Iran's sentencing of U.S. hikers: Clinton

(Xinhua)

08:29, August 22, 2011

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton said on Sunday that Washington was "deeply disappointed" by Iran's sentencing of two U.S. hikers for eight years in prison.

In a statement issued by the State Department, Clinton said the United States continued to call and work for the two Americans' "immediate release," saying it was time for them to return home and be united with their families.

"I joined President Obama and the people of the U.S. in expressing our unflagging support for Shane, Joshua, Sarah and their families during this difficult time," she added in the statement.

The two detained U.S. hikers, Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer, were sentenced to eight years in prison by Iran on Sunday on charges of illegal entry to the country and espionage.

Three U.S. nationals 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 unfounded.

The female U.S. hiker Sarah Shourd, once jailed in Iran with the other two Americans, was released by Tehran's prosecutor in September 2010, on a bail of 500,000 U.S. dollars due to her health situation.

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