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Iran Says U.S. Hikers Should Face Trial

Source: RFE/RL

Iran says that three American hikers detained in Tehran for a year should stand trial on charges of illegally crossing the country's borders. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that it was "evident" the three -- Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Josh Fattal -- had entered the country illegally.

Josh Fattal, Sarah Shourd, and Shane Bauer

Mehmanparast said that Iran was also considering other possible charges, including intentionally acting against Iranian security, according to a state media report.

The hikers' "other possible actions and intentions against the security of the Islamic republic are being probed by relevant authorities," he was quoted as saying on the website of state television.

There has been no indication from Iran so far that formal charges against the three have been filed.

A screen grab from Iranian state Press TV shows the first tearful reunion of the detained Americans
with their mothers in Tehran on May 20.

The three Americans were arrested on July 31 last year after they reportedly strayed into Iran from across the border with Iraq.

On July 29, U.S. President Barack Obama called on Iran to "immediately release" the three hikers, saying they had never worked for the U.S. government and had committed "absolutely no crime."

compiled from agency reports

Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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