Moms of Americans jailed in Iran head back to US

NEW YORK — The mothers of three Americans jailed in Iran for 10 months were expected to arrive back on U.S. soil Saturday after visiting their children but failing to secure their release. The Swiss ambassador in Iran told AP Television News there were no negotiations with Iranian officials to free their children. Washington and Tehran broke off diplomatic relations following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and Switzerland handles U.S. interests in Iran. “The point was that they should see their children. They have seen them quite a lot over the last two days,” Ambassador Livia Leu Agosti said late Friday in an interview at the Tehran airport after the mothers left the country. “It was a visit to the children. That was the purpose.” The Americans — Sarah Shourd, 31; her boyfriend, Shane Bauer, 27; and their friend Josh Fattal, 27 — have been held in Iran since July, when they were arrested along the Iraqi border. Iran has accused them of espionage; their families say that the three were hiking in Iraq’s largely peaceful mountainous northern Kurdish region and that if they crossed the border, it was accidental. The mothers — Nora Shourd, of Oakland, Calif.; Cindy Hickey, of Pine City, Minn.; and Laura Fattal, of suburban Philadelphia — had hoped to at least make a face-to-face appeal for their chil… >>>

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