Iran FM spokesman refuses to confirm arrest of Americans
The spokesman of the Iranian foreign Ministry said on Wednesday he could not confirm or deny whether three American hikers had been detained after crossing the unmarked border from Iraq. “There have been contradictory and vague reports on their arrest in Iran. I cannot confirm or deny the arrests until further investigation,” Hassan Qashqavi told state radio.
On Tuesday, however, Iraj Hassanzadeh, the deputy governor of Iranian Kurdistan said the three—identified by American news sources as Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal—had been detained and questioned for entering the Islamic Republic illegally. “We don't know whether they are tourists or not. We are questioning them,” he said.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has since called for the quick release of the three Americans.