Iran General NewsUS says Omanis in Iran seeking release of hikers

US says Omanis in Iran seeking release of hikers

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AFP: The United States said Tuesday that an Omani delegation had arrived in Iran to work for the release of the two remaining US hikers held in the Islamic republic.

WASHINGTON, September 28, 2010 (AFP) – The United States said Tuesday that an Omani delegation had arrived in Iran to work for the release of the two remaining US hikers held in the Islamic republic.

“The Omanis pledged to continue to help with the release of the two hikers and we’re very grateful for that,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.

Crowley said he was aware an Omani delegation was already in Iran but referred reporters to the Omani government for details.

Oman mediated in the release earlier this month of American Sarah Shourd, 32. The Iranians arrested her and fellow hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal on July 31 last year when they strayed into Iran from Iraq.

Shourd was released after bail of around 500,000 dollars was paid. Both Iran’s hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have said Oman played a role in securing her release.

The authorities charged the three with “spying and illegally entering the country,” but they said they entered Iran by mistake after getting lost in Iraqi Kurdistan.

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