In an interview in early May with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said it was up to a judge to decide whether the hikers were telling the truth when they claimed that they simply got lost.
"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."
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.
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 after viewing the interview. "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 Tuesday. "We hope he thinks about it that way too."
ABC News' Christophe Schpoliansky and The Associated Press contributed to this report.