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US trio’s moms to depart for Iran

The mothers of the three Americans detained for illegally crossing the Iranian border last year are to travel to Tehran on Tuesday to meet their children.

“It’s going forward as scheduled. They are leaving tomorrow,” said Samantha Topping, spokeswoman for Cindy Hickey, Nora Shourd and Laura Fattal, the mothers of the detained Americans.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said last week it had issued visas for the mothers of the three to meet their children in Iran.

Topping said it was possible the families would also try to arrange a meeting with Iranian officials to ask for the trio’s release, AFP reported.

Joshua Fattal, Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd were arrested in the western Iranian city of Marivan for illegal entry into Iran in July 2009.

Relatives of the detainees say they crossed Iranian border accidentally while hiking in a scenic area of northern Iraq.

Iranian officials, however, insist the three US citizens knowingly entered Iran as they ignored warnings by locals that they were crossing the border.

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