Two American Hikers About To Be Freed In Iran

//shane bauer joshua_fattal

Sep. 20 2011, Published 9:59 a.m. ET

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by Staff

Two Americans who were held prisoner in Iran for more than two years will be freed Wednesday, is reporting.

Iran’s judiciary confirmed that Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal would be released from the Evin prison at any time, saying that they had “accepted” the request for $1 million bail.

"The case is over," their attorney Masoud Shafiei said. "The court has ordered that they be freed on bail."

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Because the United States does not have diplomatic relations with Iran, Switzerland represents U.S. interests in the country. At about 2:45 p.m. (6:15 a.m. in Washington), Swiss ambassador Livia Leu Agosti arrived outside the prison in a convoy of two SUVs. Agosti said she was “very optimistic” that the hikers would be released shortly.

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Shafiei said the government of the tiny Persian country of Oman had paid bail for Bauer and Fattel.  (Oman   also reportedly paid bail last year to secure the release of the hikers’ companion, Sarah Shourd, who was arrested with them, but released last year).

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Bauer and Fattal, both 29, were arrested along the Iran-Iraq border in July 2009 on charges of spying; they were each sentenced last month to eight years  in prison.



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