Iran Bound: Mothers Hope to Visit Detained Hikers

mothers of the three missing hikers being held in Iran speak out

The mothers of the three American hikers who have been held in Iran since July are heading to Tehran today in hopes of seeing their children for the first time since before their international ordeal began.

The mothers say they have already planned their first moments, the first words they'll say to their imprisoned children.

"I'm so glad to see you, sweetie," Nora Shourd planned to say to her daughter, detained 31-year-old Sarah Shourd. "How are you? I love you."

VIDEO: The mothers hope to see their kids for the first time in almost one year.
American Hikers' Moms Journey to Iran

"I will wrap my arms around him, tell him I love him," Cindy Hickey said of her son, 27-year-old Shane Bauer. "They will be coming home."

The three Americans, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and 27-year-old Josh Fattal were detained by Iranian officials July 31, 2009. They were reportedly hiking on a trail that winds along the unmarked Iran-Iraq border. They have not yet been charged with a crime and have not been allowed to see their legal representation.

CLICK HERE to see what Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos about the hikers.

Earlier this month the mothers made a public plea toIranian officials to set politics aside and release their children.

"The two countries are at odds with each other and we don't want this mixed in with that," Cindy Hickey told "Good Morning America."

In an interview earlier this month with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said it was up to a judge to decide whether the hikers' claim that they simply got lost was the truth as they would have to plead their case to him.

"They have to provide proof and evidence to the judge in Iran that shows that they lost their way or made a mistake," Ahmadinejad said. "When the time comes, they will have a lawyer."

Click here to read a full transcript of George Stephanopoulos' interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Americans, all University of California-Berkeley graduates, entered northern Iraq with visas from Turkey on July 28 and planned to spend five days in the area, according to a Web site dedicated to the hikers' release.

"There's no doubt in my mind that if they crossed the border by accident, it was by accident," Hickey said.

Ahmadinejad said he would make a recommendation to the judge to "render maximum cooperation" in regards to the case, but said he had no influence over the judge. The mothers said they saw more when they watched the interview.

"We saw compassion in his face during that interview," Laura Fattal said. "I think President Ahmadinejad -- his face changed when you spoke about the children."

Hickey said that if her child is released, she'd like to thank Ahmadinejad. Shourd said it would amount to an personal "gesture" by Ahmadinejad.

"The world is watching what's going to happen over there and we think it would be just an incredible gesture for the president to extend to us," she said. "We hope he thinks about it that way too."

"These are bright, American kids that have their life ahead of them," Fattal said. "What does any mother want? A Chinese, a Russian and an American mother? An Iranian mother? They want a child to have health, happiness and freedom."

Mothers' Plea Unanswered

The three mothers pleaded with Ahmadinejad to bring their children with him when he came to the United States earlier this month to speak at the U.N. conference on nuclear non-proliferation.

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