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American moms thank Iran hospitality

22 May 2010 9:51

The mothers of the three Americans caught trespassing Iranian territory have expressed gratitude for Tehran’s hospitality during their stay in the country.

“We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Iranian government for allowing us to visit Shane, Sarah and Josh in Tehran. We greatly appreciate the kindness of the Iranian officials who did so much to help us during our all too brief stay,” read a joint statement by Nora Shourd, Laura Fattal, and Cindy Hickey on Saturday.

The three American women, who were speaking to reporters upon their return from a trip to Iran, said they were “extremely relieved” to see for themselves that their children were in good health and being well-treated while in Iranian custody.

Shane Michael Bauer, Joshua Felix Fattal, and Sarah Emily Shourd were arrested on July 31, 2009 after crossing the Iranian border from Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

They were later charged with espionage after Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi found “compelling evidence” that the three had actually been cooperating with the US intelligence services.

The US government, along with the families of the three Americans, has denied the claims, insisting that they were mere hikers who had accidentally crossed the Iranian borders.

On Thursday, the American mothers reunited with their children in Iran, after the Tehran government issued visas for them on compassionate grounds and in accordance with the Islamic codes of conduct.

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