September 29th, 2011
02:30 PM ET

Chavez: I asked Ahmadinejad for hikers' release, at actor's behest

[Updated at 3:53 p.m. ET] Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday he called and sent a letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asking for the release of detained American hikers at the behest of actor Sean Penn.

Americans Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were released from an Iranian prison last week, after 781 days in captivity.

Chavez said he considers Penn a friend, and after the two spoke about the hikers, he agreed to add his voice directly with the Iranian president.

"If this call and message helped a little, I am glad. Even if it didn't," he said.

Fattal, Bauer and Bauer's now-fiancee, Sarah Shourd, were arrested in July 2009, with Iran saying they strayed across the unmarked border between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran. Shourd was released in 2010.

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Filed under: Iran • Venezuela
soundoff (362 Responses)
  1. Copper's Donut Shoppe

    Where is Iran? Were the hikers part of the boy scouts. Does Sean Penn own Pennsylvania? Who is Hugo?
    I have to go study for my MBA. Keep me informed.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Answer Man

      Iran is in South Dakota. The hikers were part of a naval seal team searching for Captain Nemo. Sean Peen holds an option on Pennsylvania, but he does own Outer Mongolia, parts of greece, and Trenton, New Jersey. Hugo is either a big hurricane or the youger brother of Victor. I already have my MBA and my PhD; I am a full professor and I now must go to class to teach the grad students government policy here in DC.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Victoria

      Thanks for bringing a smile to my afternoon.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      Wasn't Hugo a-go-go the arch villain of Batfink? Is Sean Peen the heir to the Ball Peen Hammer fortune?

      September 29, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    And does someone actually believe that anyone in authority in Iran was actually a\influenced by this phone call? And why did it take the boys 2 years to do it, great humanitarians that they are?

    September 29, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Really

    Sean wants to live in American and reap the rewards of a Capitalist system, but wants all others their lives like Repressed Socialist Venezuelan’s……Michele Moore is another one…

    September 29, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      Who is Michele Moore?????

      September 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • uniteddivided

      I least Penn can speaka the english better than....you.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Is speaka the English like speaking English?

      September 29, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Duh

    Wow those chemo drugs Hugo's on must really be strong. He thinks Sean Penn is the president.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • PulTab

      Penn would be a far better president than any of the repulitards that have been showing up lately.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. hello

    Next time you go to a movie and see Sean Penn on the list, don't wast your money. He is a terrible actor anyway. But being so anti-American makes him worse.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • DarkBronzePlant

      Helping to free Americans that are imprisoned in a foreign country... yup, that's sure anti-American!

      September 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • JesusPacifism

      I make a point of supporting Sean Penn as much as humanly possible. He spent months living in a tent in Haiti, trying to help the people there with both his time AND money. More than you can say for most americans. You can stuff it.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • mfx3

      Helping free American captives is anti-American? Okay.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Got to be you

      Yea, Madonna divorced him....that should tell ya. hehe

      September 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME

      "DarkBronzePlant

      Helping to free Americans that are imprisoned in a foreign country... yup, that's sure anti-American!"

      You actually believe that Sean Penn is why they're released? More likely, they realized they needed to promote one of their "Useful Idiots" more and gave him credit.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. james

    Iran got 1 million, we got these morons hikers

    September 29, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      America has a policy that we don't leave our own behind Hope you never need that assistance

      September 29, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • what?

      not "morons"; its moron. Moron

      September 29, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      I don't think that is an official US diplomatic policy.

      September 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bogus

    Hey I called Ahmadinejad too. He told me he would not speak further with me unless I went through Chavez.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gorgeous george

    I guess there is two more people trying to get on the hoopla-bandwagon and get credit after the fact!

    September 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Juan Carlos Queipo

    Hopefully NO taxpayer's money went to the release of the moron hikers!!!

    September 29, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • svann

      Gotta have hope.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. svann

    Ouch. Thats gotta be like rubbing salt in the wound for conservatives.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • UhYeaOk

      Why? Because idiots like you believe what Chavez has to say? You lefties will believe pretty much anything another lefty has to say...

      September 29, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. floyd

    Lost in all of this is the fact that these guys were released. I would say thank you to whoever was involved in the release. Sometimes our enimies can do good. America have proven that over the years by helping countries that see us as the enimy when disaster strike (earthquakes, floods). The ones we should most fear are the ones we call friends. They over the years have done terrible things to others knowing they have our full support. Because of that people start hating us.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ru serious

    ...just another Hollywood tool, why do we take these people seriously? Barely literate, the only "talent" they have is to pretend they are someone else on screen, are you kidding me? Do they they think that gives them the right to sht on the country that is making it possible for them to have the good life. Ugh, go away, Penn, Fonda, all the big-mouth lefty idiots over the ages.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Aquidneck

    How does helping to free two American hikers make him anti-American? Does spending months in Haiti trying to provide relief for those people also make him anti-American?
    Sean Penn is a terrific actor. I saw him years ago on stage and he was the most riveting actor I've ever seen– and that includes a lot of people, from Vanessa Redgrave to Rex Harrison to David Bowie.
    There's a lot of hate, bile and name calling on these postings. People, get a life.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Riveting, eh?!

      September 29, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aquidneck

      Yes. It was called Slab Boys and it was a two person drama written by a Scottish playwright about men whose job was mixing paints. The other actor was Kevin Bacon, and Sean Penn was an unknown. I've seen actors who command attention onstage– I've been attending plays for more than 40 years–and I've seen some great actors but Sean Penn, the unknown, was so good, so magnetic, that you couldn't take your eyes off him. I've never seen it before and haven't since.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hasher Iva

    Wow. When did Sean Penn become Secretary of State? Or at least an envoy? Chavez won't talk to nobama or Hilary, but he takes Sean Penn's call? I think Hilary should confiscate Penn's passport and provide him a one way ticket to Venezuela.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ombdz

    Hugo Chavez talking up a Democrat!?! Let's see, where have we seen this before ...

    http://www.ombudizen.com/2011/09/29/democrats-behaving-badly/

    September 29, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
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