US ‘encouraged’ by Iran promise to free hikers - Clinton
‘We hope that we will see a positive outcome’ :
US: The United States is “encouraged” by Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad’s promise Tuesday that two jailed American hikers will be
freed in the next couple of days, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
“We have followed this very closely and we are encouraged by what the
Iranian government has said today,” she said. “We obviously hope that we
will see a positive outcome from what appears to be a decision by the
Ahmadinejad told the Washington Post and NBC News in separate
interviews Tuesday that Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, convicted last
month of espionage and illegal entry, would be freed in a matter of
“I am helping to arrange for their release in a couple of days so
they will be able to return home. This is, of course, going to be a
unilateral humanitarian gesture,” Ahmadinejad told The Washington Post.
“It is a unilateral pardon” of the hikers, the Iranian leader said.
In a separate interview with US network NBC News, Ahmadinejad said
Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal would be released “in two days” but their
lawyer Masoud Shafii told AFP they would be freed only when bail, set at
$500,000 for each of the men, had been paid. Bauer and Fattal, who were
both sentenced to eight years in prison last month, were arrested near
the mountainous Iraq-Iran border in July 31, 2009, along with a third
hiker, Sarah Shourd.
Shourd was granted bail on humanitarian and medical grounds and
allowed to leave the country in September last year. AFP