Tags: Iran | hikers | moms | visas

Iran Issues Visas to US Hikers' Moms

Tuesday, 11 May 2010 10:19 AM


TEHRAN — Iran has issued visas for the mothers of three US hikers held for more than nine months in the Islamic republic, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday, describing Tehran's decision as a "humanitarian act."

"The visas have been issued. They can pick them up and travel to Iran to meet their children," ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said late Monday that the mothers of the three young Americans, jailed since July 2009 for "illegal entry" into Iran, would be granted visas.

"This is a humanitarian act, we have not seen any such response on the other side," Mehmanparast said, criticising the United States which has had no diplomatic ties with Iran for nearly three decades.

Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah Shourd, 31, and Josh Fattal, 27, were detained last July 31 after straying across Iran's border during a hiking trip in northern Iraq's Kurdistan region.

Iran initially accused them of spying but Mottaki said in December that they faced charges of entering the country illegally. The trio are being held in Tehran's notorious Evin prison.

Washington said last month it was "deeply alarmed" over the fate of the hikers after relatives said two of them had fallen into poor health and all were considering a hunger strike.

The families of the three hikers expressed hope on Monday that they would soon be able to travel to Iran in order to see their children.

"We have not received official confirmation that this is the case but we would obviously be delighted if it is true and are ready to travel as soon as our visas are issued," they said in a joint statement.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.


© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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2010-19-11
Tuesday, 11 May 2010 10:19 AM
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