Iran minister: U.S. detainees may go free

Aug. 6, 2011 at 7:19 PM

TEHRAN, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Saturday he hopes two American nationals imprisoned in Tehran will be released soon.

Salehi said judicial authorities in Iran were examining Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer's case in a fair manner, Voice of America reported.

Salehi said he believes authorities "will proceed in a manner that will result in their freedom."

Bauer, Fattal and a third hiker, Sarah Shourd, were arrested near the Iraq-Iran boarder in 2009 on charges they were spies who had illegally crossed into Iran. Shourd was freed on bail in 2010.

Iranian officials say judges will announce their verdict soon, Radio Liberty reported.

The three American hikers have entered not guilty pleas, saying they did not know they had crossed the border while hiking.

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