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Mothers Call for Release of Hikers Detained by Iran


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Two mothers of U.S. citizens detained in Iran for more than two months have called on Iranian authorities to release them.

In an interview with VOA Persian News Network, the mothers apologized that their children, Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd, along with Joshua Fattal, crossed into Iran in late July while hiking in northern Iraq's Kurdistan region. The three were then detained.

The mothers said the hikers did not intend to enter Iran, saying they strayed into the country at an unmarked border crossing.

Shane Bauer's mother Cindy Hickey said she is anxious to see Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, follow through on his remarks that he would ask Iran's courts to expedite the case and look at it with "maximum leniency."

Sarah Shourd's mother Nora Shourd asked Iranian officials to consider the three detained Americans "good people in the world," and to give them "compassion and consideration."

The three U.S. hikers were visited by the Swiss ambassador to Iran late last month but have not had contact with their families.

Switzerland represents U.S. interests in Tehran because the United States has no formal diplomatic relations with Iran.