THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Iran mentions 11 held in US when discussing detained Americans

Americans Shane Bauer (left) and Sarah Shourd, and another hiker, are being detained after crossing the border from Iraq. Americans Shane Bauer (left) and Sarah Shourd, and another hiker, are being detained after crossing the border from Iraq. (AP Photo/Freethehikers.Org, File)
Associated Press / December 23, 2009

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

  • E-mail|
  • Print|
  • Reprints|
  • |
Text size +

TEHRAN - Three Americans arrested in July after crossing into Iran from neighboring Iraq are still under investigation, a prosecutor said yesterday, adding that Tehran is concerned about 11 Iranians it says are being held in the United States.

The Tehran prosecutor did not link the two issues, but officials have increasingly mentioned their campaign for the Iranians when speaking about the detained Americans. US officials have been concerned that Iran would try to use the Americans as bargaining chips in its dealings with the West.

“The Americans should know that there are 11 Iranian nationals in US prisons. We hope the Americans are treating them based on regulations,’’ Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi said, according to the IRNA news agency.

Iran released a list earlier this month of 11 Iranians it says are being held in the United States, including a nuclear scientist who disappeared in Saudi Arabia and a former Defense Ministry official who vanished in Turkey.

The prosecutor did not go into details about the case of the three Americans, whose families say they were trekking in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region and accidentally strayed over the unmarked border with Iran.

“We sense that in the Iranian government there is some kind of equivalency that they offer with regard to the hikers and Iranian citizens who have left Iran. There really is no equivalence at all,’’ said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.