The three University of California-Berkeley graduates were arrested Friday after apparently crossing from Iraq into Iran during a hike. Washington has also expressed deep concern over Iranian-American scholar Kian Tajbakhsh, who was recently re-arrested and charged in connection with violent post-election rallies in Tehran.
Human Rights Watch noted that neither Tajbakhsh nor any of the other more than 100 defendants were charged with specific violations of Iranian law.
It is not the first time Iran has detained American nationals for unspecified reasons. Here is a breakdown of Americans who have been detained or gone missing in recent years in Iran:
Azima, who is an Iranian and American national, had her passport confiscated in January 2007 and faces arrest if she returns to Iran. Azima, who works for Persian-language broadcaster Radio Farda — funded by Radio Free Europe and Voice of America — was allowed to leave Iran in September 2007.
American Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent, has been missing in Iran for over two years. Levinson had been working as a private investigator in Dubai. He was last heard from on March 8, 2007, when he checked into a Kish Island hotel and then checked out to return to the United States the follow… >>>