• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Another Curve Ball from Iran on U.S. Prisoners

    In addition announcing the launch of a research rocket, three Iranian-made satellites, and a tactical shift on a proposed International Atomic Energy Agency deal on uranium, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threw another disingenuous curve ball yesterday by claiming that talks were underway with the United States for an exchange of prisoners.

    In an interview on state television Tuesday, Ahmadinejad was asked about the fate of three American hikers detained in Iran and claimed that the United States, not Iran, was at fault: “They have arrested our citizens for nothing… this is very bad… now there are talks whether it is possible to do an exchange” of prisoners.

    The White House on Tuesday denied it had held “any discussion” with Iran about a possible prisoner swap. Iran is holding a number of US citizens in custody, including three American hikers — Sarah Shourd, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer — arrested after mistakenly wandering over the Iraq border into Iranian territory last year. Iran has repeatedly rejected outside efforts to gain access to the three hikers to confirm that they are being held in good conditions.

    Among the 11 Iranians that Iran alleges are “illegally” detained in the United States is nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri who disappeared in Saudi Arabia while on pilgrimage to Mecca last year. Iranian officials have accused Washington of kidnapping Amiri from Saudi Arabia, but the scientist, like others on Iran’s list, is believed to have defected from the increasingly repressive regime in Tehran. In addition to asserting a false equivalence between defectors and innocent hikers, Iran’s dictatorship also undoubtedly hopes to suggest that it is engaged in ongoing talks with the Obama Administration in order to demoralize the opposition movement which spontaneously sprang up to protest Iran’s sham elections last June. The opposition Green Movement has called for further demonstrations, including on the February 11th anniversary of Iran’s Islamist revolution.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Another Curve Ball from Iran on U.S. Prisoners

    1. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      Didn't we go through this with Iran back in 1979-1980? Haven't we learned that asking nicely and saying please does not get us anywhere with these sand jockeys? There may be only 3 Americans in this case but they are still Americans and we should be pointing the business end of a nuke down Iran's throat to get them back.

    2. Bobbie Jay says:

      Mahmoud, please don't assume prisoners America doesn't have over the innocence of American hikers. Show the world you have reason-ability, rationality and let the hikers go! They did nothing to you!

    3. BobPDX says:

      Young Americans need to learn to stay out of harms way in foreign countries, especially in the middle east.

      I don't know what the hikers motives were, but they were foolish to be where they were.

      I hope they are released, but their fate lies with a government who has no trouble killing it's own youth for the simple harmless act of protesting.

    4. Spiritof76, NH says:

      Obama administration is another step closer to the inept Carter administration. During the latter in 1979, Iran took over the US embassy and held its personnel for over 400 days. Now, in 2009, Iran apprehended the three Americans (if they were hikers, they were pretty stupid) and is now holding them as hostages. Feckless Obama administration has no negotiating chips, having capitulated to the tyrants of Tehran.

      Iran has been unwavering as it is putting together pieces of military hardware of nuclear weapons and delivery systems and Obama has no plans to stop them. There is a good probability that a Mid-East debacle will explode. Israel may try to annihilate Iranian missile and nuclear capability. Obama will be the first to criticize Israel. That won't matter as Iranian tyrants will unleash terror attacks on the US and Israel. Israel will probably handle them as they don't care about political correctness. US, on the other hand will abosrb serious casualities. Obama will be there to pass out the bandages not much else, cementing the rightful place of his administration as a repeat of Carter- Carter II. Sort of like a bad movie sequel.

    5. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      The solution is simple. We, America, have to be more savage than our enemy. We need to propose killing one Iranian prisoner every day until the American hostages are freed. And then commence doing so.

    6. Carol, AZ says:

      We certainly hope that these young people are safe and returned soon. .

      However we all have to wonder what could the parents' of these ypoung people be thinking ?

      I'm certain this highly expensive trip was financed by mom and dad…

      How could they not know the risks?

      How could the State Dept issue Travel Vista''s to a war zone for this recreational trek in the first place?

      Who is running the State Dept an approving these stupid decisons ?

    7. notpacifist WI says:

      If these young people were just on an adventure, I agree their ignorance has caused a very expensive and dangerous international incident. If however their objective was to try to spread Christianity to the Muslim world, may God bless the journey. Rather than calling them stupid American kids, we should be praying for their trek to be completed safely and with Gods will.

      Brothers and sisters in Christ, may your journey take you where no one else would have dared to go.

      God Bless and God speed.

      Ref: "Tortured For Christ"

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×