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. KIlovolt

    They're all idiots. Idiots for hiking anywhere in Iraq, much less near the Iranian border. Idiots for even claiming to know Hugo Chavez, much less speaking with, much less asking him for any kind of help. Idiots for running this stupid story.

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

      Reading comprehension, for the loss. The hikers didn't claim to know Hugo Chavez. The story is about Chavez claiming to have asked Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to release the hikers, at the request of actor Sean Penn.

      I do, however, agree that these thrill seeking idiot hikers deserve what they got.

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

      Read the article next time, please.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • fryin'fish

      You don't know anything about Hugo Chavez other than the propaganda the US government has crammed down your throat. Not saying he's a saint, but neither is our president. Before you make a devil out of someone at least do some research.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • fryin'fish

      and YOU are the idiot. the same kind of idiot who thinks someone who goes to Mexico and gets murdered deserved it. Have fun living in your cave of ignorance the rest of your life.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CheezeMo

    Sean Penn can come to my rescue any time he wants.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rodney

      Sean Penn is an Idiot and a traitor to America.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kaveman

    Sean Penn is a worthless trader!

    September 29, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • bruce Heinemann

      kaveman... what an appropriate name for a lower vibrating neanderthal like you... please go back into your cave... man..

      September 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      What kind of products does he trade?

      September 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • PulTab

      Trader? You're so stupid you're funny. Is it a safe bet that you are a teatard?

      September 29, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • sas

      If you are going to insult someone, at least learn how to spell. I believe the word you were looking for was "traitor".

      September 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • jd

      I believe the word you're looking for is "traitor." Even a Kaveman should know this.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kaveman

      Yeah, yeah.. traitor vs. trader... I know. I just wrote too fast.

      The reason I call him a traitor is that as Hugo Chavez was calling America the devil, Sean Penn was right there at his side giving him credence. The rest of America was repulsed.

      September 29, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bashir

    american pigs. all of you.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Oink oink grunt. That means "Blow me. in American pig language.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bronko

      hey bashir, take off the burqa and say that

      September 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • PulTab

      I've heard that allah gives good head. Send him my way sometime.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • sas

      Thats right. Don't come near us. Pork is bad for you.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      Thanks for the pig! American, you say? I guess the ham will be good anyway.

      September 29, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Uncommon Sense

    I hate Hugo Chavez because Fox News tells me to. He's offended my Corporate masters by
    offering aid to Americans during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath and having the audacity to
    offer cheaper prices for gas to our people and thwarting two assasination attempts by our
    government. I'm not sure who I'm going to hate next week, but I'll tune in to find out.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • jleene

      excellent.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • fryin'fish

      Thank you. Yes, we must all hate Hugo Chavez because he doesn't do things the "American" way, and that makes him evil, right? There is only black or white in this world. USA or Evil. pretty simple!

      September 29, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • sas

      Nice stereotyping of 300 million people. Not all of us watch FOX. And most anti-government movements start right here in States long before the rest of the world catches on. And YOUR biased media, only reports the negative sides of America because, guess what..... America bashing sells more papers. Foreigners never hear about the good things we do these days...Only bad stuff reported in the media. And you fall for it hook line and sinker.

      True SOME American hate Chavez but others like American Sean Penn or Michael Moore, Alex Jones, Ron Paul and many others try to see the other point of view. Yet you will rarely hear about those Americans in YOUR media. So go on and continue to bash the small portion of extreme right wing conservatives and then hypocritically stereotype an entire nation. It only paints you as ignorant and stupid.

      September 29, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • CypressSteve

      Ah, yes... Admiration for a benevolent dictator. I invite all who find Mr. Chavez so wonderful to move to Venzuela, if only briefly, and publish something on a comment board that could be interpreted as anti-Chavez. Perhaps then you will appreciate the freedoms you still have in the U.S. Then move to Iran, if only briefly, and attempt to practice Christianity. If you are allowed a "pardon" for such a sin, perhaps then you will appreciate the freedoms you still have in the U.S. In the meantime, please go on your merry way spitting vitriol at all who attempt to protect your freedoms from vanishing.

      September 29, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joe

    Sean Penn and the three hikers should all move to Venezuela. Feel free to leave your US passports behind, all four of you.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will Clinton

      Hey Joe, you blow.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • fryin'fish

      Yea Joe, you totally suck

      September 29, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Friedfishhead you are the most boring predictable person on this site.

      September 29, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. meyer goldberg

    it used to be that if an American helped save or rescue another American, he/she would be considered a patriot! I guess that is only true today if the American that helps is a right wing conservative. Thanks Sean Penn, you are a true patriot! Those that criticize don't know what it means to be a true American! * mg

    September 29, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • f

      Hey Meyer. Those Three Stooges should have been left to rot in the Iranian prison. No world leaders should have gotten involved. Sean Penn is showing his true socialist colors and the mere fact that he was able to influence two dictators is frighteneing. What other influence does he or other Hollywood socialists have over American or foreign leaders? The three stooges never should have been there and they are subject THAT country's laws. They were not in America anymore.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      I think it's more of that fact that it's sort of refreshing to these crazy dictators that it's a new face trying to handle this. I'm sure Iran and Iraq's leaders are tired of hearing about Obama and other US leaders. So this new face (to them) from Hollywood of all places, is gettin involved. So they worked with him. Everyone on here should be happy the hikers were freed,unless of course you're a crazy taliban member. Atleast America has good intentions. You can say we invade these countries for oil, but if that were really true why on earth would we be begging for other nations to help us? If we were really there so we could steal oil we would NOT invite France or anyone else to help us out and share the worlds burden. Hey China, act like a super power and try tro do some good in the world.

      September 29, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • sas

      Whats wrong with socialism? Do you even know what it is? Have you ever lived in a socialist country? It's not that bad really.

      September 29, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. f

    Sean Penn ? World policy maker? Yikes ! Be afraid....be very afraid.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. getout

    those three idiots should go live with chavez, he is a piece of work too. i was hoping they would be have been executed to show future tree huggers of america what can happen

    September 29, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jessie

    Sean Penn is a great actor and thanks him for doing this ( regardless it helped or not) Even those three are morons, they are Americans. Don't ask why it took two years – better late than never. If some of you would do a mistake of your life I hope there will be someone else to help you out. Thanks everyone – Sean Penn, Chavez, Oman's Sultan and others who helped to liberate those idiots.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Eric Cantur

    I heard that sarah Palin offered to trade herself for the release of the hikers. Pres. A said no thanks, we have enough crazies over here already.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. A proud VietNam vet

    Shaun Penn is just another (Hanoi) Jane Fonda.. I don't agree with everything my country does in this world but I don't believe that agreeing with other Governments all the time is any way for someone living and making a living in this country to act. If they think everything our country does is wrong then why live here in the first place. God Bless the USA.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • A proud VietNam vet

      Sorry I meant to say Sean Penn

      September 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. asdf

    Who knew Jeff Spacoli would change the world?

    September 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • f

      Yikes ! What a scary thought! Where' Mr. Hand when you really need him ?!?!!?

      September 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jimmy russell

    Thank u mr chavez but they were syrians with usa birth certificates the entire drama epasode was planed before they left syria

    September 29, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. KIlovolt

    You guys think way too highly of yourselves Bill and What? They're all idiots. They – hikers, Sean Penn, Hugo Chavez, Ahmadinejad. Learn to read between the lines.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • what?

      i'm guessing you're the idiot

      September 29, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
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