Iran General NewsUS lawmakers urge Iran to free US hikers

US lawmakers urge Iran to free US hikers

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ImageAFP: The US House of Representatives on Thursday urged Iran to let three American hikers in its custody for nearly three months speak to their families by telephone and to free them "as soon as possible." ImageWASHINGTON (AFP) — The US House of Representatives on Thursday urged Iran to let three American hikers in its custody for nearly three months speak to their families by telephone and to free them "as soon as possible."

By a 423-0 margin, lawmakers passed a delicately worded resolution that "encourages" Tehran to release Joshua Fattal, 27, Shane Bauer, 27 and Sarah Shourd, 31, who strayed over the Islamic republic's border from Iraq.

The Senate approved the measure unanimously on October 6.

The resolution "encourages the Government of Iran to allow Joshua Fattal, Shane Bauer, and Sarah Shourd to communicate by telephone with their families in the United States."

It also "encourages the government of Iran to allow Joshua Fattal, Shane Bauer, and Sarah Shourd to reunite with their families in the United States as soon as possible."

The three US citizens went missing on July 31 after setting out on a hike from Iraq's northern Kurdistan region on the poorly marked border. Iran later notified the United States, through the Swiss embassy in Tehran, of their arrest.

Relatives of the three travelers said the hikers strayed in the poorly marked border area, but Iranian authorities say they are not yet satisfied about the Americans' intentions.

The measure notes that Tehran has allowed Switzerland, which represents US interests in Iran, consular access to the three in keeping with the Vienna Convention that governs diplomatic ties.

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