US hikers freed by Iran arrive in New York

September 26th, 2011 - 5:57 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Sep 26 (IANS) Two US hikers who have been freed by Iran arrived in New York City Sunday, ending a political ordeal that lasted over two years between two countries, Xinhua reported.

Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, who remained imprisoned in Iran since July 2009 on accusation of spying, were released from a Tehran prison Wednesday under a one-million-dollar bail.

At a news conference after landing in New York, the two men read out prepared statements before reporters.

“From the very start, the only reason we have been held hostage is because we are American,” said Fattal, adding that “Iran has always tied our case to its political disputes with the US.”

“However, the irony is that Sarah, Josh and I oppose US policies towards Iran which perpetuate this hostility,” said Bauer.

The two, along with another US national Sarah Shourd, were arrested in Iran July 31, 2009 for illegally entering Iran’s western border and were later charged with espionage.

The US government considered the charges totally unfounded.

The woman hiker — Sarah Shourd — was released by Tehran in September 2010 on a bail of $500,000 in consideration of her health condition.

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