Iran: U.S. hikers case is still under investigation

Iran: U.S. hikers case is still under investigation

Iran's ambassador to Baghdad rejects reports about a "very soon" release of the US nationals detained in Iran on charges of espionage and illegal entry, saying their case is still under investigation, Press TV reported .

Iran's judiciary is still probing into their case, Hassan Danaeifar told IRNA on Saturday.

"At the insistence of the US reporter on the time the two suspects will be released, I emphasized that investigation into their case has not been completed yet," he further explained.

"I told the reporter that war is an inappropriate event in human life and merely wished all inmates will be freed," he went on to say.

The Associated Press (AP) on Thursday quoted Danaeifar as saying he expects Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, both 29, will be released "very soon", especially during the holy month of Ramadan, which began in Iran on Tuesday.

The Iranian envoy further explained that the AP reporter misinterpreted his remarks that pardons are handed down during Ramadan and stated that he made no words about an upcoming release of the two American suspects.

The fourth and final trial session to address the charges against Sarah Shourd, Bauer and Fattal was held on July 31st in Branch 15 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court.

The session was held behind closed doors in the absence of Shourd, who was released in September 2010 on bail.

Shourd, Bauer and Fattal were arrested in July 2009. Iran claims that they illegally crossed the Iranian border from the mountains of Iraq's Kurdistan region.

They were later charged with espionage after the Tehran prosecutor found "compelling evidence" that the three US citizens had been cooperating with US intelligence agencies.

The three American nationals have pleaded not guilty.

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi expressed hope that the trial of the three US nationals will result in their freedom.

"God willing ... the Judiciary will present necessary information in this respect when the time is right," Salehi said and praised the judiciary for processing the case with "fairness and justice."

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