Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Josh Fattal
The mothers of the three American hikers detained in Iran - Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal - made the following statement on Many 22nd at John F. Kennedy Airport, New York, on their return from a two-day visit to Tehran to see their children for the first time in almost 10 months.
We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Iranian government for allowing us to visit Shane, Sarah and Josh in Tehran and greatly appreciate the kindness of the Iranian officials who did so much to help us during our all too brief stay.
We will forever savor the precious hours we were able to spend with our children after such long and anxious months of separation. But we are also very disappointed that when we went to the airport to return from Iran, Shane, Sarah and Josh had to go back to Evin Prison.
The pain we felt at having to leave Tehran without our children is almost more than we can bear. Our greatest hope was to bring our children home with us, where they belong. We hope and pray that the Iranian authorities will now find it in their hearts to resolve our children's case and release them without further delay.
The mothers arrived in Tehran carrying roses as a gesture of good will
We spent a total of about 10 hours over two days with Sarah, Shane and Josh, including many hours in private. We regret that because our visit was cut short, we did not see more of them.
We are satisfied that our children are being well treated and were extremely relieved to see for ourselves that they are in reasonable health after their long period of confinement.
Nonetheless, the loneliness and emotional strain on them is difficult and they told us that they just cannot understand why they are still in jail. Shane, Sarah and Josh have done nothing to deserve their continued detention and the lack of movement in their case troubles us greatly.
Our children - and our families - are suffering the consequences of tensions and political considerations beyond any of our control. We hope that will soon change, now that the Iranian authorities know us for who we are - loving mothers who know the pain and share the heartache of any mother, anywhere who is separated from her child in a prison in a foreign country.
A screen grab from Iranian state Press TV shows the first tearful reunion of the mothers with detained Americans Josh Fattal, Sarah Shourd, and Shane Bauer (left to right) in Tehran on May 20.
LAURA FATTAL: We would like to thank the many different people who made our visit to Tehran so special, starting with the Iranian people. Their sympathy and understanding and the warmth of their welcome are blessings we will always cherish. We also owe particular thanks to Ambassador Livia Leu Agosti and the staff of the Swiss embassy for the great care and kind attention they showed us all through our stay.
We are grateful to our children's lawyer, Masoud Shafii, for his efforts on their behalf and hope that he will have access to them at long last. And we thank the many friends and supporters of Josh, Sarah and Shane for their untiring efforts to make sure that our children will be free. That day will come.
We also would like to thank the media in Iran, in the U.S., and around the world, for their interest in our children's plight. We hope you understand that we do not feel able to take any questions at this time. We are quite literally exhausted and are just too overwhelmed by the emotions of our trip. Thank you and we hope to speak more about our children in the coming days.
BBC News - Iran seeks prisoner swap involving three US 'hikers': Iran's intelligence minister has called on Washington to propose a prisoner swap to secure the release of three US citizens arrested last July near the Iraq border. Heydar Moslehi said he had no doubt they were spies.
Jailed US hikers engaged in Iranian prison: mothers: WASHINGTON (AFP) - Two of the three US hikers held in Iran for nearly a year on spying charges were engaged in Tehran's infamous Evin prison and plan to marry shortly after their release, their mothers said Monday.
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