Iran to free one US detainee

IRAN will release one of the three detained American hikers accused of espionage tomorrow, an official said last night.

Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal were detained in July 2009 after they strayed into Iran from northern Iraq.

“One of the three will be released on Saturday,” said the government official, who asked not to be named.

Intelligence Minister Haidar Moslehi said Tehran has proof the three Americans detained had links to intelligence services.

He also said last month that investigations into spying allegations against the three would be completed soon.

Washington has said the charges against the hikers are totally unfounded and they should be released. Under Iran’s Islamic law, espionage can be punishable by death.

Journalists were invited to attend a ceremony on Saturday at Esteqlal Hotel in Tehran for the release of one of the hikers.

Iran had said the three Americans would be put on trial, without giving a date. They have not formally been charged.

Iran allowed the mothers of the trio to visit them briefly in Tehran in May.


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