Iran General NewsUS hikers caught in Iran sensitive army zone: Ahmadinejad

US hikers caught in Iran sensitive army zone: Ahmadinejad


ImageAFP: Three US hikers who entered Iran illegally were caught in a "sensitive military zone", Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told AFP on Friday. ImageCOPENHAGEN (AFP) – Three US hikers who entered Iran illegally were caught in a "sensitive military zone", Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told AFP on Friday.

"The Americans have kidnapped more than 10 of our citizens in other countries even though they had visas and took them (to the United States) and say nothing.

"But three Americans entered illegally into our territory in a sensitive military zone and they make a noise round the world to say the Americans are very important," he told AFP in an interview.

Sarah Shourd, 31, Shane Bauer, 27, and Josh Fattal, 27, were arrested on July 31 after allegedly straying across the border from Iraq's Kurdistan region and are due to go on trial in Iran.

In the United States, the mother of Shourd launched a video campaign Friday urging clemency for the group.

"This is a time of the year when families come together. This time unites us as children of God," Norah Shourd said in the video directed at Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and posted on the website

"They are good people, they did not mean to enter Iran and have deep respect for your ancient and noble civilization…. If they entered Iran it was an innocent mistake," she said.

But Ahmadinejad invoked the rule of law.

"Those who break the law will have to answer for it. Justice is independent in Iran and will decide," he said.

"We are unhappy that people are in prison. There are about 3.5 million Americans in jail in the United States, I hope they will be allowed out to be with their families during Christmas."

Iran's public prosecutor said in November they faced espionage charges but on Monday Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the trio, who are held at Tehran's Evin prison in separate cells, will face trial.

"Interrogation of the three Americans who have illegally entered Iran with suspicious aims is ongoing," he said.

Their friends and relatives deny that they are spies and the United States insists they be released.

"On behalf of the mothers of Shane and Josh, I respectfully apologize and request for your benevolence for this time of the year. Please release our children and return them home to us," said Shourd, her head covered by a shawl in the video.

"The holidays are a time for families to be together. This is not an American value or an Iranian value, it is a human value."

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has also urged Iran to free the hikers.

Latest news

What Gas Poisonings In Iran Tell Us About The Ruling Regime

For months schools in Iran have been in the crosshairs of gas attacks against the country’s children. The mullahs’...

Iran’s Regime Inches Toward Nuclear Weapons

Iran’s regime is once again at the center of a dangerous escalation of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. A...

US Congress Expresses Support for Iranian People’s Quest for a Democratic, Secular Republic

Several bipartisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives have presented a resolution (H. RES. 100) supporting the Iranian...

Wave Of Poisoning Attacks Against Schools Leave Hundreds Sick

Iran has been shaken for three months by serial poisoning attacks against all-girls schools, which has left more than...

Iranian Security Forces Beat Baluch Doctor To Death

On Thursday, February 23, activists in Sistan and Baluchestan provinces reported the news of the death of Dr. Ebrahim...

World Powers Should Hear The Voice Of Iranians, Not Dictators And Their Remnants

Iran’s nationwide uprising continues despite its ups and down. The clerical system’s demise no longer seems a dream but...

Must read

Japan imposes sanctions on Iran over nuke program

AFP: Japan imposed sanctions on Iran over its contentious...

Iran-Pakistan pipeline work to begin March 11: officials

AFP: An Iranian-Pakistani consortium will start work next week...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you