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  • Iran’s Latest American Hostages: Is a Deal in the Works?

    Three American hikers who apparently strayed across Iran’s border with Iraq have become pawns in Iran’s cynical game of foreign policy blackmail. Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd have been held in prison since being arrested last July on a hiking trip, after Iranian officials alleged that they crossed the poorly-marked border. Last week their mothers were allowed to travel to Tehran to meet with their imprisoned children, a sign that Iran’s thuggish regime believes that its bargaining leverage will be enhanced by publicizing the hostages’ plight.

    Iran’s Intelligence Minister, Heydar Moslehi, told reporters on Sunday that “It is clear that the three Americans are spies,” despite the fact that the hikers have not been formally charged and the Iranians have produced no evidence to support their unfounded accusations. If they are found guilty of espionage in Iran’s arbitrary judicial system, they could face a death sentence.

    Moslehi and other Iranian officials have hinted at a prisoner swap and have produced a list of 11 Iranians that they say are in custody in the United States or in third countries. At least one of the Iranians is believed to have defected from the government during a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. Others have been jailed for smuggling arms or advanced technology to Iran.

    Last September, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suggested that the three Americans could be released in return for the release of Iranians held in Iraq, who were Revolutionary Guards captured while posing as “diplomats.”

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton correctly rejected the idea of a prisoner swap in February. But the release of two Iranians in Iraqi custody last week, the day after the hikers’ mothers were allowed to see their children, has raised speculation about whether a backroom deal with Iran is in the works.

    Taking hostages is a long-established tactic of Iran’s radical Islamist regime, which consolidated power in 1979 by exploiting the American hostages seized at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The three hapless hikers are only the latest in a long list of hostages that Tehran has taken, which also includes Robert Levinson, an American citizen who disappeared in Iran in 2007. History has shown that negotiating with Tehran to free hostages has encouraged it to take further hostages. Let’s hope that the Obama Administration is not going down that road again.

    For more publications and links, see: Iran.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Iran’s Latest American Hostages: Is a Deal in the Works?

    1. Hussein Saeedi says:

      England is considered the old colonialism and the ancient enemy for Iran by our proud nation. It is so good to use these words for the UK:

      cynical

      arbitrary

      thuggish

      fuck off bastards!

    2. Esther Haman says:

      What a lie for an Article. Sensationalizm is the only thing that would come to mind for this rediculous article. The Iranians who are being held by us here in the US and abroads are not allowed to be seen by their parets or their lioved one "too busy water boarding". Heck, they are not even seen by us on TV or papers yet. At least the Iranians have the heart to let the stupid hikers be visited by their parents. Do we have the guts to do the same? I realy doubt that.

      I have NO sympathy for the Zionists agents who put our country in a compromising position.

    3. mat, toronto says:

      America doesn't want them either, they are very anti american and if you visit their campagn website they were actually protesting against iran when they were in iraq. the american war machine doesn't want them, neither does iran. they will probably get executed by iran or taken as political prisoner.

    4. mike usa says:

      It is their trait to do such. Fear and submission is their game they play same as N.Korea. Unless you are a soldier on duty; One should know well enough not to get so close to compromising our National Security. (civilians.) One could indeed be placing not only their own lives at risk but as well our Soldiers in Uniform as well our National Security at Home or Abroad.

      It seems very clear cut ; These hikers had awareness they were near trespassing a danger zone. What is this ? A dire need for National Attention? Risking American lives as well Americas National Security. Sad !

      If you desire to be a soldier and close to danger then join the military. Their you can find the brave ones .

    5. mike usa says:

      I do indeed feel for these humans captured. Life is indeed precious and we are only human and make mistakes at times in our lives and learn very quickly how to change. It is while being a soldier one finds Gods love for them as they know they

      are facing serious dangers or even to give their very lives. We know this: That when we are faced with the ultimate to give our very lives we do so without any fear and know where we are going to go if we die for a great cause trying to save innocents.Knowing this we have courage to face these things.

      They seemed to have had enough courage to say one thing clearly to Iran prior to capture: No Nuclear danger. Let us all be green. So they placed their lives in danger to stand up for what they believed. Thus knowing they were placing their very lives on the front for what they believed in. one must also remember when they do ; They are ready to give their very lives to do so without expecting to be bailed out; Their faith in Gods love for them should now be in check mate.

      It is rather better to leave these things in the hands of God and those in Charge of our Government to handle. Least we may cause more damage then help to National security of this great Nation and or other innocents too. Hear in this great nation we have freedom to speak. But their we don't !

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