Iranian President Ahmadinejad Guarantees Hikers’ Release: ‘When We Said We Will Release Them, We Will Release Them’

Sep 20, 2011 12:41pm
gty bauer fattal jef 110920 wblog Iranian President Ahmadinejad Guarantees Hikers Release: When We Said We Will Release Them, We Will Release Them

AFP/AP Photo

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted that the two imprisoned hikers, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, will soon be released “as a humanitarian gesture” from Iran where they have been held for more than two years.
 
“I did say within the next few days and I still say the same thing. And God willing they will be released very soon,” he told me.


 
I spoke to the president after he landed in New York to attend a meeting at the U.N General Assembly. Just last week Ahmadinejad announced that the two Americans would be released on  $1,000,000 bail. When that was delayed there was hope they would be free today. But as we reported on “GMA” the Iranian judges played politics - apparently not wanting to give their rival a victory one judge was not in court and therefore did not sign the release.
 
Here’s my exchange with the president:
 
Stephanopoulos: Yet we– it seems that there seems to be from the outside a power struggle inside Iran.  The members of the judiciary are determined to embarrass you and prevent the release of those hikers while you’re here in the United States.
 
Ahmadinejad: Is it their release which is important for you? Or what’s going on in Iran? There is no problem. There is a judicial process that has to be completed and hopefully it will be, God willing. 
 
Stephanopoulos: Guaranteed they will come to the United States?
 
Ahmadinejad: Do I have to guarantee?
 
Stephanopoulos: … I think a lot of Americans would like that guarantee.  
 
Ahmadinejad: Yes, whatever we say… 
 
Stephanopoulos: Can you not guarantee?
 
Ahmadinejad: Yes, we act upon whatever we say. And if we don’t want to act, we won’t say it. We didn’t make this decision under pressure. It’s a humanitarian decision. Although, a lot of people are in jail or in prison in American prisons, inside the United States, in Europe, on ships unfortunately there are a lot of people without having had the opportunity of a fair trial.  And there are some Iranians who are imprisoned in the United States and did not have the opportunity of a full judicial review. But when we said we will release them, we will release them, as a humanitarian gesture. 

abc Ahmadinejad Stephanopoulos nt 110920 wblog Iranian President Ahmadinejad Guarantees Hikers Release: When We Said We Will Release Them, We Will Release Them

ABC News

 
Tune into World News tonight and “GMA” tomorrow morning for more of my interview with President Ahmadinejad, including:

  • How he responds to Sec. Chu accusing Iran of “denial, deceit and evasion” over its nuclear program.
  • Does he support the Palestinian’s plans to seek recognition before the U.N. Security Council?
  • And does he think that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s hold on power is secure?

George Stephanopoulos

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