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No Prisoner Swap for American Hikers, Says Iran

By Marco 't Hoen
Epoch Times Staff
Created: June 8, 2010 Last Updated: June 9, 2010
Related articles: World » Middle East
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Three detained US hikers (L-R) Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, who were detained on July 31 last year after crossing Iran's border while on a hiking trip. A possible prisoner swap was suggested but will not include Iranian nuclear scientists. (Atta Kenare/Getty Images)

Three detained US hikers (L-R) Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, who were detained on July 31 last year after crossing Iran's border while on a hiking trip. A possible prisoner swap was suggested but will not include Iranian nuclear scientists. (Atta Kenare/Getty Images)

A possible prisoner swap for the three American hikers detained in Iran, suggested two weeks ago by the Iranian leadership, will not include Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri, said Ramin Mehmanparast, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Tuesday.

The decision came after Iranian state television aired a blurry video statement of a man, whom the presenter identified as Shahram Amiri, saying he had been abducted by the United States while on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia in June 2009, and that he has been tortured.

“Shahram Amiri is an innocent Iranian citizen who has been abducted and, inhumanely, is behind bars," Mehmanparast said.

"These two cases are not comparable," he said, since the three hikers had entered Iraq illegally in July 2009.

The United States has denied the kidnapping.

Another video contradicting the aired video was released on Youtube, according to the New York Times. It showed a young man saying he was Mr. Amiri, free and safe working on his Ph.D. in the United States. His purpose of releasing this video, he said, was to put an end to all rumors over the past year about him. He said he had no interest in politics nor experience in nuclear weapons programs.

Either way, the scientist will not be part of a prisoner swap.




   

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