An American woman who was held in Iran for more than 13 months and accused of espionage said Sunday that she and two men detained with her never spied or committed any crime, calling their arrest “a huge misunderstanding.”
Discussing her experience at the most length since her release Tuesday, Sarah Shourd underscored her gratitude at being released but said she felt only “one-third free” because her fiancé, Shane Bauer, and their friend Josh Fattal remain in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.
“This is not the time to celebrate,” Shourd, 32, said at a New York news conference Sunday. “The only thing that enabled me to cross the gulf from prison to freedom alone was the knowledge that Shane and Josh wanted with all their hearts for my suffering to end.” Shourd and the two men were detained in July 2009 along the Iran-Iraq border. Iran has accused them of spying. Their families say they were hiking, and if they crossed the border, they did so accidentally.
Shourd was freed Tuesday in Tehran. Officials in Oman mediated a $500,000 US bail.
Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in New York to attend the UN General Assembly. He later met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss developments in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East, as well as efforts to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, the UN spokesperson’s office said.
Ahmadinejad called Shourd’s release “a huge humanitarian gesture” in an interv… >>>