Iran to put three detained U.S. hikers on trial, official says

Three Americans arrested while hiking along the Iran-Iraq border last summer will soon be put on trial, Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki said, accusing them of “dubious intent.”

U.S. citizens Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal and Sarah Shourd, all living in or visiting the Middle East, were arrested July 31 during what friends and family describe as a travel adventure in the picturesque mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan, which abuts Iran.

A friend who was with them said they may have accidentally strayed across the Iranian border. They have been held as prisoners inside Iran for months, with limited access to their families.

Mottaki said the three were being processed by the country’s law enforcement and judiciary apparatuses.

“The interrogation of and the judicial process against the three U.S. nationals, who entered Iran illegally with dubious intent, are still ongoing,” he said in comments broadcast on state television during a meeting with his Azeri region counterpart. “They will be put on trial by the Iranian judicial system, and the necessary judicial rulings will be issued against them.”

Iran’s security forces have remained on high alert amid continued unrest concerning the country’s disputed June 12 presidential elections.

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