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American hikers' release from Iran in doubt

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 01:34

Sept. 14 - Two Americans arrested while hiking in Iran and convicted of spying may not be released as Iran decides to postpone judicial decision, Iranian TV announces. Katharine Jackson reports.

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The question remains - Will Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal stay in prison? Iranian TV announced on Wednesday the Americans - arrested while hiking in Iran two years ago - will not be released... This one day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told U.S. media the accused spies would be freed within days in what he called a "humanitarian gesture" before he visits the United Nations this month. A lawyer for Bauer and Fattal said on Tuesday they would post $500,000 bail each to secure their release. Now Iran's judiciary says their release on bail is under review. Middle East Analyst Hassan Hanizadeh says the contrast exposes a rift between Ahmadinejad and Iran's hard-line ruling elite. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRANIAN ANALYST HASSAN HANIZADEH, SAYING: "The Islamic Republic of Iran possesses independent powers and because there are democratic institutions within the Islamic Republic of Iran, the president cannot exercise his opinions within the judiciary system. The Judiciary operates completely independently from executive powers." American Sarah Shourd - arrested with Bauer and Fattal - was released on 500,000 bail last year. Bauer and Fattal were sentenced last month to spend eight years in prison. Katharine Jackson, Reuters.

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American hikers' release from Iran in doubt

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 01:34