Iranian foreign minister hopes for release of US hikers

August 7th, 2011 - 1:20 am ICT by BNO News  

TEHRAN (BNO NEWS) — Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Saturday that he hopes that the two American hikers detained in Iran on espionage charges will be released soon, the state-run Press TV reported.

“God willing … the Judiciary will present necessary information in this respect when the time is right,” Salehi said at a press conference in Tehran. He also praised the Judiciary for processing the case with “fairness and justice.”

The fourth and final trial session to address the charges against Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal was held on July 31 behind closed doors in the absence of Shourd, who was released in September 2010 on bail. They were all arrested in July 2009 after allegedly crossing the border while hiking in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

They were later charged with espionage after the Tehran prosecutor found “compelling evidence” that the three U.S. citizens had been cooperating with U.S. intelligence agencies. The three American nationals have pleaded not guilty.

The Iranian foreign minister also made a reference to the condition of Iranian nationals detained in the U.S., including Shahrzad Mir-Qolikhan, an Iranian woman who has been in a U.S. prison for three years.

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