September 9th, 2010
03:28 PM ET

Source: Iran to release U.S. hiker Sarah Shourd 'very soon'

Officials have said Sarah Shourd will be the one hiker released Saturday.

[Updated at 3:28 p.m.] Iran will be releasing Sarah Shourd "very soon", a spokesperson from the Iranian Mission to the United Nations tells CNN.

[Posted at 12:12 p.m.] Iran says it will release one of the three American hikers detained for more than a year on Saturday, a day after the conclusion of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, according to an official at the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance.

The source would not disclose which of the three -  Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd– would be released.

The three were detained July 31, 2009, after they allegedly strayed across an unmarked border into Iran while hiking in Iraq's Kurdistan region. Tehran has accused the three hikers of being spies, which they deny.

The official said one of Iran's vice presidents will be present when the hiker is released at 9 a.m. Saturday.

President Barack Obama has called for their release, saying "their unjust detention has nothing to do with the issues that continue to divide the United States and the international community from the Iranian government."

The hikers' mothers were allowed to visit them in May in Tehran. The mothers said that at the time, their children told them they had not been questioned for several months.

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Filed under: Iran • World
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Pat

    Bet they won't go back...

    September 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      The "release" announcement was the result of a misunderstanding.

      Look at the history:
      1.They went on a "vacation" to a war zone which started by U.S.
      2.They cross illegally into Iran, a country the US and Britain are threatening and provoking and sponsoring terror and war against.
      3.They have had contacts with the CIA in Iraq.
      4.The British terror group caught in the Persian gulf were confirmed to be spies after release.
      5. Iranian Scientists and professors are being murdered by British-American sponsored terrorists infiltrating Iran...
      6.The Iran-Iraq border was site of the most notorious war of the 20th century...the Arabs, sponsored by the Americans and British attacked Iran in 1980 in the middle of the Iranian Revolution and murdered 1 million Iranians over the next 8 years with European and American supplied chemical weapons, and other experimental WMD's which people are still dying from in Iran today...
      7.The Euro-American-Israeli state media, MSNBC, BBC, AP, Reuters, CBS, ABC, Voice of America, Jew York Times, are continuously spreading vicious likes about people getting "stoned to death" for "adultry"
      That should give you a better idea of their fate.

      September 11, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy Vetterli

      It's driving me crazy that the "hikers" will not say what they were doing in Iraq, hiking , in the middle of a war in the first place. How did they get there? Do they really expect people to believe that they took an innocent hiking trip to Iraq during a war? where did they fly to? What connections led them into Iraq? Nobody sane, would go hiking in Iraq during a war without some kind of connection being there. Whats the answer to the most obvious questions?

      September 13, 2010 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. Anna

    This is fantastic news, but I'm worried that if the preacher from Florida goes through with his plans to burn Qurans, Iran will either go back on its word to release that one hiker, or release the one hiker but keep the other two.

    September 9, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Li Ran

      Cry more

      September 9, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lisa

    No one ever really pays attention to travel advisories do they? You can't go to countries we are at odds with, travel into restricted areas and say, "my bad, we got lost." I feel for them and their families but as my good friend says..."COME ON!" Poor decision.

    September 9, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      I've heard reports that they were lured onto Iranian soil by border guards who kept yelling and motioning for them to walk over to them. Hiking around Iraq maybe isn't as safe as, say, vacationing in Florida, but they're being used in sick ways by the Iranian government to make a point. It's hard to stay safe by following the rules when the other side isn't following them at all.

      September 9, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      sarah, you jews really like to lay it on thick don't you?
      Stoning is a punishment from the book of hate, Jewish Torah, for adultry.
      It has never been practiced in iran.
      By the way, that woman (and that fake picture was produced by the BBC to make the stoning story more convincing), is on death row for murder not "adultry".
      The more you lie, the more the lying western media digs its own grave.

      September 12, 2010 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. John 1776

    "Pay no attention to that nuclear facility you just found! Look, Here's one of your hostages back !!"

    September 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. PK

    why on earth they would ever choose to hike there in the first place is beyond me.

    September 9, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Exactlty! Its driving me crazy that no US television or radio network will ask the most obvious question! Nobody just decides to go hiking in Iraq when their country is in the middle of a war! Nobody will ask this question...as if its just perfectly normal for US citizens to vacation in Iraq right now! I think I'll go on my honeymoon to Afghanistan! This is insane!!!

      September 13, 2010 at 4:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. M

    I hope that Iran is not lying and will go through it. Now to get the other two free...

    September 9, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. slb

    Release them! Iran has no basis to hold them. These poor young adults have been detainined because an idiot is in power in Iran.

    September 9, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hob

    the "hikers" were just "hiking".....c'mon if you believe that I have a nice bridge to sell to you!! 🙂

    it's funny that the media insists on the "story" that they are hikers and not agent/spies – when it is so obvious. Do you really think that they were just following the Lonely Planet hikers's guide to Iraq and Iran?

    September 9, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Really? It's obvious that they were spies? Care to back that up with anything? I think it's obvious that Iran is run by a nutter.

      September 9, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danielle

      Not sure if it's obvious they were spies, but I think it's pretty obvious that they had no business there and could have anticipated the trouble they got into – whether just trying to be the cool hipster traveler or spy.

      September 9, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Willy B.

    Book tour forthcoming.....

    September 9, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff

    I said this many months ago that Iran would turn this into a media event just watch how much press is on this.

    September 9, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jeff

    I can't believe how people think they are spies the only reason they were hiking in that area is the illegal drugs that can be bought there, they are dopers not spies.

    September 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jenn

    We must all pray for the release of all three. God is more powerful then all. Prayer works!

    September 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. cwdodgen

    I wonder what these nutjobs are up to.

    Iran wouldn't release any hostages (and yes, they're hostages, not prisoners – they have no legit reason to be detained) unless they're up to no good or they want something in return.

    September 9, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      or that she is so sick she may die. If she dies in an Iran prison...that won't go over well....

      September 9, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Faith

    Iran: Release our Americans! There were witnesses that the Iranian police ACTUALLY, crossed over their own border along Iraq in order to kidnap these innocent three hikers, only because they are Americans! Iran has no authority to take or keep them in jail or prison and for over a year!!! This means war. Iran has been undermining Americans since 1979. They finance Hezzbollah to murder US marines in Lebanon. No one can appease an evil regime. Iran will never be a friend or ally to America, they aim to kill Americans. Recently paying a bounty to The Taliban for each American soldier to be murdered in Afghanistan, too. Perhaps for all US troops in the Middle East promoting freedom and democracy or human civil rights to and for the innocent people.

    September 9, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danielle

      Oh, you mean indefinitely detaining a foreigner without a justified reason is wrong? <>

      I agree with "hob" above, if you think they were mistakenly "lost" on their "hike" please pass whatever dope you're smoking to me, because I'd like to try some of that!

      September 9, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Brandon

    Is that Saturday, Iranian time, or Saturday, Gainesville, FL time?

    September 9, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
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