Iran Says 2 US Hikers to Be Freed in Days

Posted September 13th, 2011 at 7:45 am (UTC-5)
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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he thinks that two American men convicted of spying on his country will be released “in a couple of days.”

Mr. Ahmadinejad told a U.S. television interviewer that Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal will be freed on humanitarian grounds.

He made the comment during an interview conducted in Iran by NBC correspondent Ann Curry. The interview was broadcast Tuesday on the network's Today program.

Iran arrested Bauer and Fattal and a third American, Sarah Shourd, in the Iran-Iraq border area in mid-2009. The trio said they were hiking in northern Iraq when they inadvertently strayed over the border.

Both men received eight-year prison sentences last month. Shourd was released a year ago after posting a $500,000 bond and returned to the United States.

The lawyer for Bauer and Fattal says bail for the two men has also been set at $500,000.

The hikers' supporters denounced their sentences, saying Iranian prosecutors had presented no credible evidence against them.