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Iran Frees 2 American Hikers

Posted on Sep 21, 2011
AP / Press TV

Shane Bauer, left, and Josh Fattal are preparing to return home.

Two years after crossing an unmarked border into Iran, American hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal are being released from prison on $1 million bail. Convicted of espionage by the Iranians, they had been sentenced to eight years behind bars. Update: The two Americans flew Wednesday to Oman, where they raced down the stairway of a private jet and into the arms of their families.

Officials from Iraq and Oman are reported to have negotiated their freedom, with Oman paying bail for the pair. A week earlier, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had told U.S. media that the two had been granted a “unilateral pardon.” However, observers suspect that the long delay in the hikers’ release was the result of a power struggle between Ahmadinejad and conservatives close to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, with the hikers becoming a means to put pressure on the U.S. and its allies. Ahmadinejad’s presidency will end in 2013. —ARK

The Guardian:

It is not clear why Iran has finally decided to release the two, but analysts have interpreted the move as an attempt to reduce tensions with the international community at a time when negotiations over its nuclear programme are deadlocked.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, September 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

How much you want to bet Iran got something out of this that the MSM isn’t reporting.

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By richard roe, September 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hikers?  Yeah… right. 

Like there aren’t enough places to go hiking in the entire rest of the world that they have to spend thousands of dollars and go to extreme lengths to select a war torn, politically tense location to go for a hike?  How in the world did they even get there in the 1st place, simply book a flight to Baghdad and then hop on a bus? 

If this smelled any more strongly like B.S. I’d be scraping my shoes. 

So who ponied up the One Million Dollar pay off, Backpacker Magazine?

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By doomster, September 21, 2011 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

That’s good, one less excuse for war… Hopefully they will be more careful where they hike next time.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, September 21, 2011 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

Oh no, the evil Iranians have released two people! Let’s all forget Obama’s disgusting speech at the UN and obsess over why the Iranians would release these two guys!

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