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Shane Bauer (left) and Josh Fattal at a February court hearing in Tehran. (AP)

American Hikers Held By Iran To Be Freed 'In Two Days,' Ahmadinejad Says

Sep 13, 2011

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Two Americans who have been held in Iran since July 2009 will be released "in two days," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has told NBC News.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal and a third American — Bauer's finance, Sarah Shourd — were hiking in Iraq in July 2009 when they crossed the border into Iran. They were arrested and accused of spying. Shourd was released on bail last year. All three were later convicted of spying and the two men have been serving eight-year prison sentences, over the protests of the U.S. and despite appeals from their families.

Ahmadinejad broke the news of the men's impending release during a pre-recorded interview aired on NBC's Today show this morning. After word of his comments became known, The Associated Press reported that an attorney for the men, Masoud Shafiei, says that a bail of $500,000 for each has been set. As the AP notes, that is the same amount as the bail set last year for Shourd.

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