Iran Suggests Prisoner Swap for US Hikers

May 24, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Detained US hikers Shane Bauer (2nd-L), Sarah Shourd (C-L) and Josh Fattal (2nd-R) sit with their mothers during their first meeting since their arrest, in the Iranian capital Tehran on May 20. Iran says the Americans are spies and has suggested that U.S. decide whether it wants a prisoner exchange. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)
Detained US hikers Shane Bauer (2nd-L), Sarah Shourd (C-L) and Josh Fattal (2nd-R) sit with their mothers during their first meeting since their arrest, in the Iranian capital Tehran on May 20. Iran says the Americans are spies and has suggested that U.S. decide whether it wants a prisoner exchange. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)
Iran's Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi suggested that the United States propose a prisoner exchange for the three Americans who were arrested in July and charged with espionage.

The three Americans, Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah Shourd, 31, and Josh Fattal, 27, say they were hiking in Iraq and strayed over the border into Iran where they were picked up and taken to Tehran.

The trio said at a meeting on Thursday that they are being treated well but do not know why they are being held. Iran allowed the mothers of the three to visit them in a meeting open to the press.

Moslehi says the Americans are spies and expects the United States to decide whether it wants a prisoner exchange, reported the BBC.

His statement adds to Washington-Tehran tensions already high over Iran’s nuclear program.

The United States has not had diplomatic relations with Iran since 1980. American interests are currently represented by the Swiss government.