WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., has asked Iran's permanent representative at the United Nations to help win freedom for three hikers.
In a letter to Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee, Specter said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised to push for "maximum leniency" for the three, who have been held in custody since they strayed across the border during a hike in Iraqi Kurdistan, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
One of the three, Joshua Fattal, 27, grew up in the Philadelphia area and graduated from Cheltenham High School and his family lives in Elkins Park. Fattal, Shane Bauer, 27, and Sarah Shourd, 31, were arrested in late July.
Fattal's brother told the newspaper his family is grateful for Specter's intervention.
"We hope the Iranian authorities will resolve this matter quickly," Alex Fattal said.