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Free ‘illegally’ detained Iranians

Ahmadinejad asks US :

US: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked Washington to free eight Iranians who he said were “illegally arrested and detained,” in an interview to be aired yesterday.

“It would not be misplaced to ask that the US Government should take a humanitarian gesture to release the Iranians who were illegally arrested and detained here in the United States,” Ahmadinejad said, according to excerpts of the interview released by ABC News.

The request came days after Iran freed 32-year-old US national Sarah Shourd after holding her and fellow hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal for more than a year.

All three were arrested July 31, 2009 after straying into Iran from Iraq. The authorities had charged them with “spying and illegally entering the country.”

The Iranian President made the remarks after arriving in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

When asked if Iran would respond to an appeal by the mothers of the two remaining American hikers in Iranian custody, Ahmadinejad said their cases were in the hands of the judiciary.

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