Iran to Release American Hiker Sarah Shourd on Bail

By Susan Tan
Susan Tan
Susan Tan
September 12, 2010 Updated: September 12, 2010

[xtypo_dropcap]I[/xtypo_dropcap]ran says it is ready to release the 32-year-old detained American woman named Sarah Shourd on bail of $500,000. As a result of the disagreement between the judiciary and the presidency, the release of Sarah Shourd was suspended until recently.

The planned release of Shourd was on Saturday, as officials said last week, but because of objections from Iran’s judiciary, the release had been suspended at the last minute. The reason given for the suspension was unresolved legal process.

Observers say this indicates an ongoing power struggle between the president and the other hardliners within the government. Shourd's planned release faced criticism from some hardline Members of Parliament who accused the government of “meddling in the judiciary’s affairs,” according to a report in Tehran-e Emrouz daily on Sunday.

However, Shourd's release was eventually secured when President intervention by the intervention of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, because of a “special view of Iran on the dignity of women.”

Sarah Shourd was detained near the border with Iraq at the end of July 2009 with two male companions, on accusations of espionage. According to Islamic law, espionage is punishable by execution. However, Shourd, who is reported ill and in need of medical treatment, was released on bail as a show of clemency.

Susan Tan