Obama will have no role in case of three Americans, says Iranian MP
US President Barack Obama will have no role in the case of three detained American nationals in Iran and his efforts for their release would remain futile, an Iranian MP said Sunday, dpa reported.
Obama called on Iran Friday to release the three Americans hikers who have been held for a year, saying their continued detention is "unjust."
"The US president has neither any role nor any influence on the legal process of the three persons," Zohreh Elhian, a member of the parliament's national security commission, told Fars news agency.
"Diplomatic channels would not have any results and remain futile as this is a legal matter dealt solely with by the judiciary," she added.
Saturday marked one year since Iranian authorities arrested Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, who were hiking in Iraq's Kurdistan region when they allegedly crossed an unmarked border into Iran.
Elhian accused the three hikers as being "spies" and said all the dimensions of their espionage acts should be clarified.
Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast however said on Sunday that the charges against the three was still illegal entry into Iran. The spy charges have not yet been fully confirmed but were still being investigated.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has also said the hikers entered Iran without legal permission, committing a border violation but noted Iran would be ready to release the three n exchange for Iranian prisoners in the US.
The three hikers' mothers were allowed to visit them for the first time in May and despite hopes, there was no release then on humanitarian grounds.