Will Iran Release Jailed Americans?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Detained US hikers Shane Bauer (2nd-L), Sarah Shourd (C-L) and Josh Fattal (2nd-R) sit with their mothers during their first meeting since their arrest, in the Iranian capital Tehran on May 20, 2010. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty)

Three American hikers made international headlines in 2009, when they were arrested after illegally crossing the Iranian border. Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal and Sarah Shroud were quickly jailed on charges of espionage. Although Shroud was released 8 months later, both Fattal and Bauer have spent nearly two years in prison. In an exclusive interview with NBC’s Today show yesterday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Ann Curry that his country is prepared to release the pair on "humanitarian grounds." However, this morning, the prisoners' release has been complicated. Iran's judiciary said the hikers will not be released immediately

David Sanger, Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, discusses the timing and implications of President Ahmadinejad’s announcement, and why he has been contradicted by the judiciary.

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