In an effort touted as one to reduce tensions with the rest of the world, Iran has pledged to release two Americans held hostage in the country. The announcement comes just as Iranian President Ahmadinejad plans to visit the United Nations in New York to discuss nuclear talks.
The Guardian reports:
The pair [Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal], both now 29, were arrested by Iranian security officials in July 2009 along with a friend, Sarah Shourd, 33, after walking across an unmarked border between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan. Shourd who became engaged to Bauer while in jail, was released last September on health grounds and for the same bail sum.
Both American hostages were sentenced to eight years in jail for espionage and for illegally crossing the border. A lawyer for the men submitted an appeal against the sentences and Amnesty International called the conviction a “mockery of justice.”
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Photo: In this Feb. 6, 2011 file photo, U.S. hikers Shane Bauer, left, and Josh Fattal, attend their trail at the Tehran Revolutionary Court, Iran: AP Image