Iran’s decision to release Sarah Shourd, a 32-year-old American who was imprisoned in the Islamic republic on ridiculous charges of espionage, is drawing cheers this week and rightly so.
Shourd was hiking along the Iraq-Iran border with her fiance and a friend in July 2009, when they were arrested by Iranian officials and thrown in prison in Tehran. They have been behind bars for more than a year. While she was held in solitary confinement, Shourd found a lump in her breast. She was diagnosed with precancerous cells.
Ramin Mehmanarast, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, told Iran’s Mehr news agency that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad intervened in Shourd’s case in part because of the “special viewpoint of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the dignity of women.”