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Iran Media Confirm Three American Tourists Held in Iran


Iranian state television is reporting that border police have arrested three American tourists who allegedly strayed into Iranian territory in a poorly marked mountainous border zone between Iraq and Iran.

Iran's state-run Press TV announced the arrest of three Americans after they allegedly entered Iranian territory from the northern Iraqi Kurdish region.

Another Iranian government station, Al Alam, said Iranian border security officers had warned the three not to enter the country.

The incident reportedly took place in the mountainous Kurdish border region between Iraq and Iran, near the resort town of Amed Awaa, where the three were staying.

Hakem Qadir, the Head of Security in the Iraqi Kurdish region, explains the sequence of events.

He says the three spent the night in Ahmed Awaa, and, in the morning, left for a nearby waterfall. He says Iranian soldiers surrounded and arrested them, after they went further toward the Iranian border and into Iran.

The border area is located in a mountainous region and is not clearly marked.

U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Saturday that Washington had contacted the Swiss to "confirm (the arrest) reports with Iranian authorities and, if true, to seek consular access" to the two men and one woman.

The U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with Iran, and the Swiss represent U.S. interests there.


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