3 Americans who hiked into Iran will face trial
Iran plans to put three American hikers who illegally entered the country on trial, according to Iran's Foreign MinisterManouchehr Mottaki .
According to Iranian officials , the three U.S. citizens “illegally entered Iran with suspicious aims " and their interrogation is continuing.
Bloomburg News, Dec. 14Iran may detain the hikers for some time and use them to bargain with the U.S., according to Gala Riani, Middle East analyst for London-based business intelligence and forecasting company IHS Global Insight, last month.
“They will be put on trial by the judiciary and rulings will be made,” Mottaki has said, according to ILNA.
Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal were on a hiking trip when they mistakenly crossed into Iran from Iraqi Kurdistan on July 31, U.S. officials say.
On Nov. 9, state-run Press TV said they had been charged with spying. An espionage trial may stir more tension with the U.S., which -- along with its allies -- is in a dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear program. In Iran, a conviction for spying may be punished by execution.
In recent years, the Persian Gulf country has taken a more lenient approach to people accused of entering its territory illegally.
Iran sparked a crisis in 2007 when it seized and held 15 U.K. sailors and marines for two weeks for allegedly trespassing into Iranian waters. Two years earlier, Iran jailed a Frenchman and a German citizen who had strayed into Iranian waters during a fishing trip. Sentenced to 18 months in jail, they were released in 2007 after being granted clemency by Supreme LeaderAyatollah Ali Khamenei.
On Dec. 2, Iran freed five British yachtsmen who were seized by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Nov. 25 after their boat accidentally crossed into Iranian waters while sailing to Dubai from Bahrain in the Persian Gulf to take part in a race.
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American-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi was freed from prison in Tehran on May 11 after an eight-year sentence for allegedly spying for the U.S. was reduced to a suspended two- year term by an appeal court. President Barack Obama and Saberi dismissed the spying accusation. She was released after spending three months in detention.
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