Iranian Government Investigating Captured American Hikers

By Sadie Bass

Aug 4, 2009 1:48pm

ABC's Senior Foreign Correspondent Jim Sciutto reports from London: Iranian state television is reporting today that the government is still investigating whether the three Americans captured along the Iran-Iraq border – Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Joshua Fattal — are tourists or something more. That judgment will be up to an Iranian regime which is currently facing widespread anti-government protests, which Iranian leaders blame on the west, particularly the US.   One pro-government news service has portrayed the Americans as possible CIA spies. “It would be normal to take 24 -48 hours,” said Elliot Abrams, a former National Security Advisor. “If it goes beyond that as we start getting into a week, it's going to look like the Iranians are trying to make trouble here.” Back home in the US, friends and colleagues say the Americans simply took a break from part-time reporting to go hiking along the Iran-Iraq border. Shane Bauer sent an email to his editors at New America Media just before he left. “I’m heading out the door and traveling to Iraqi Kurdistan,” he wrote. “I want to feel out the situation there and get some ideas for deeper stories.” His editors say he had no intention of going into Iran. “My fear of course is that he will be mistaken or used as some sort of innocent abroad figure,” said Sandy Close, the executive director of New America Media. “It has happened in other regions. [They] become a sort of bargaining chip.”

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus