Release of American hikers rests in hands of Iran officials

    The release of hikers Shane Bauer an Josh Fattal now rests in the hands of Iran officials, after the nation’s foreign minister said today the courts were willing to commute their prison sentences in the near future.

    The defense attorney for the two hikers spent much of Saturday in court, working to arrange a $1 million bail-for-freedom deal.

    According to the Associated Press, the release now comes down to the hard-line judiciary and Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, who has given no clear timetable as to when a release will be negotiated.

    Bauer and Fattal, both 29-years-old, were taken into custody in July 2009 along the Iran-Iraq border with hiking partner Sarah Shourd.  Bauer and Fattal were convicted on spying and illegal entry charges. Shourd was released last September on a $500,000 bail.

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    Fattal, who is a Philadelphia area native, attended the University of California at Berkley with Bauer and Shourd.

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