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Iran Deputy FM: US nationals arrest not due to political issues

Iran Materials 28 September 2011 15:14
Arrest of the US nationals had nothing to do with their nationality or political issues.
Iran Deputy FM: US nationals arrest not due to political issues

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 28 /Trend/

Arrest of the US nationals had nothing to do with their nationality or political issues, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi said, ISNA reported.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran border guards have arrested the two US nationals and handed them to Judiciary officials due to their illegal entry into Iranian soil," Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliament and Iranian Expatriates said.

He also called recent remarks of the US nationals "false" and said, "Their charges pressed by the court include illegal entry into Iranian soil and espionage. Arrest of the people had nothing to do with their nationality or political issues between the US and Iranian governments."

Qashqavi continued, "As their lawyer reiterated the three US nationals including the two released on bail and the one released due to Islamic compassion had enjoyed all legal rights as a prison during their jail-term."

Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, both 28, and Sarah Shourd, 32, were detained in 2009 after crossing an unmarked stretch of the Iran-Iraq border. They were charged by Iran's Revolutionary Court with illegally crossing the border and espionage and sentenced to eight-year prison terms.

Shourd was released in September, 2010 on health grounds after posting 500,000 dollars in bail, and returned to the United States.

Fattal and Bauer were freed last week on $1 million bail, following mediation by Sultan Qaboos of Oman.

After their release, two US citizens condemned the "brutality" of the Iranian regime.

Edited by T.Konyayeva.

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