Iranian Judge Keeps Two US Hikers from Going Home, Suggests Political Strategy

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By: Holly Olson
An Iranian judge needed to sign bail papers for the imprisoned hikers' release is on holiday until Tuesday.

The signature would prove that the bail for Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal was paid for.

One judge had signed the papers September 17, said Bauer and Fattal's lawyer Masoud Shafiei to CNN, but a second signature is required in order to complete the process.

Bauer and Fattal, both 29, spent the past two years in prison convicted of spying and illegally entering into Iran. A third hiker, Sarah Shroud, was released September 2010 and allowed to return home, said Associated Press. All three were set a bail of $500,000 each.

President Mahmoad Ahmadinejad told Ann Curry of NBC that the hikers would be released in "a couple of days," in an interview Tuesday. Ahmadinejad added that Bauer and Fattal might accompany him when he travels to New York for the United Nation's general Assembly.

Ahmadinejad called the release of Bauer and Fattal a "humanitarian gesture," but to Iranian journalist Omet Mamuria the release and the UN general assembly is "hardly a coincidence." The release of Shourd was timed similarly to the General Assembly in 2010, said CBS Evening News.

Journalist Maziar Bahari notes to the Early Show Wednesday that the Iranian government is purposely unpredictable in order to create insecurity within their people as well as the international community. Furthermore, Bahari explains that Bauer and Fattal are "entangled" into an internal battle within Iran in addition to the U.S.

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This page contains a single entry by olso5630 published on September 16, 2011 1:03 PM.

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