Americans Jailed in Iran Say They were Hostages
Two Americans who were jailed in Iran for more than two years for spying are now back in New York last Sunday. They maintained that they were innocent and were held hostage because of their nationality. Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were arrested together with their friend Sarah Shourd while hiking near the Iran-Iraq border last July 2009.
The two were freed last Wednesday after Oman paid the $1 million bail. Shourd was released last year after paying $500,000 bail. Bauer and Fattal were sentence to eight years in prison last month. Washington has already denied the group was spies and President Barack Obama stated that they should not have been detained.
At a press conference, both Bauer and Fattal said that the case against them was all lies and they were depicted as being involved in an American-Israeli conspiracy to destabilize Iran. They added that no evidence was presented against them and they were convicted of espionage because they’re Americans.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Washington and Tehran have no diplomatic ties. Several countries worked for the release of the American hikers. Their release coincided with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly.