September 19th, 2010
08:18 AM ET

Hiker detained in Iran is back in U.S.

Sarah Shourd arrived in Washington, D.C., on Sunday.

[Updated at 7:33 p.m.] Sarah Shourd, the American hiker released from an Iranian prison, told reporters in New York on Sunday that doctors in Oman have assured her that she is "physically well."

Reading from a prepared statement, Shourd expressed thanks to Iranian government and religious leaders, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for her release after 410 days.

"It is my deepest hope that the world will not let this humanitarian gesture ... go unrecognized," she said. "I believe this decision is a step in the right direction for all of us."

However, she and the mothers of the other two detained Americans, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, called for their release. The two men remain in Tehran's Evin Prison.

Shourd, who initially was taken to Oman after leaving Iran, arrived in the United States early Sunday at Washington Dulles International Airport on a flight from Dubai. She, her mother and Fattal's brother, Alex, then drove from Washington to New York to hold Sunday's news conference, appearing with Cindy Hickey, mother of Bauer, and Fattal's mother, Laura Fattal.


[Originial post] Sarah Shourd, the American released from Iran after more than a year in detention, arrived in the United States on Sunday, according to a spokesperson.

Samantha Topping, who has spoken to the media on the behalf of the families of Shourd and two other Americans held in Iran, said Shourd and her mother arrived at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C.

Shourd was expected to arrive at New York's Kennedy International Airport and hold a news conference in New York City later Sunday. Topping said the New York news conference would proceed as planned, but offered no details on how Shourd would get there.

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Filed under: Iran
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. ROMANsmk

    Her statement makes me ill. The fake arabic inflections, the freedom of Oman? Huh? The sandlewood? The grand Mosque? I really hope that she stays there. She is a nutjob. This whole thing is just nuts. The harm they caused, the tension, the ego's!!!!! God, I cannot stand these people. Here is a taste of these 3 idiots.

    Shane Bauer
    We want people to know that we are opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We oppose the US hegemonic policies in the Middle East. We are pro-Palestinian and against the Israeli occupation. Sarah and I met while organizing demonstrations against the Iraq war. We have protested AIPAC. We oppose aggressive US policies against Iran." To his mother Cindy, during her visit to Tehran

    Sarah shourd
    At some point during the meal it dawns on me that this is my first time sitting around a table with Iraqi people. Realizing this, I tell them that everyday I feel ashamed at what my country has done to their country. I say something about the protests I have helped organize, the books I have read and the t-shirts I have worn, wanting them to know that American people have expressed opposition. It all sounds so small and paltry in the presence of people that have lost so much.

    Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Panama, Grenada, and the Philippines have all seen American troops come and go, leaving upon the explicit demand of the occupied country. The longevity and ?success? of the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq are increasingly in question as dead bodies, government lies, and economic carelessness are being exposed."

    Sweet huh? I think that they should be just grilled! But no, the Media will line up to suck up this garbage. Ask them about those issues, their long standing hatred of America and Israel. They lived in Syria, they should stay there and vaction in Yemen next year. They have zero sympathy with a huge majority, regardless of the games the media will play. If they make one cent, they should be prosecuted.

    September 19, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Sensi

      @ ROMANsmk

      You would be candid to think that what they seem to say while being hold in an iranian prison, with the current international tensions and exposure, is the deep reflection of their own thinking rather than a message pushed to "please" or "being asked" by the iranian authorities...

      With that in mind I don't really see "their long standing hatred of America and Israel" in your alleged quotes, to be against the latest iraq war, to be against the far-right pro-settlers israeli lobby is just to be pragmatic and to actually defend these two countries long-term interests against their sometimes lamentable officials, counter-productive or plain wrong policies.

      September 19, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • termlimits

      Three morons without a clue, you are right on the money. They would have went to Canada with the rest of the King loving garbage in 1773! Goes to show if you hang around too long with animals you start talking and thinking like them.

      September 19, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Jan Stark

      Having been an activist myself, ie: anti-vietnam, pro-rights, pro-civil rights., This is not the way: These people who have their own agenda and take it upon themselves to go to countries and put themselves in harms way do not deserve our sympathy or indeed the resources it takes to get them home.

      September 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter Whitney

      I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who thinks that these three people are complete idiots for hiking anywhere near the Iranian border! With all the places in the world to go hiking, why in God's name would they choose there? And the US government wasted resources to get them out? The Iranian government ought to try them on charges of moronic behavior; they're too stupid to be spies!

      September 20, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • jellylee20202

      I actually agree with what they said about Bush's Iraq War driven by his personal malice and agenda, BUT I think what they did are utterly stupid and tactless. What they did not only did not bring the needed attention to the causes they are trying to help but came across as 3 idiots who are completely clueless.

      National heroes they are not, they came across more like laughing stocks. They will not be awarded the Nobel peace price but had they been killed back when spotted hiking along the Iraqi and Iranian border, they'd be awarded the Darwin's Award for having the good sense of taking their own genes out of the human gene pool.

      September 21, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. termlimits

    Hike with your brain on and get your head out of your a$$ next time!

    September 19, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tina

    Why on earth would you choose to hike in the middle east of all places... Not enough mountains in the "free" world... You play with fire – you risk getting burned. We may not agree with all of the policies of the US but they are criticizing the very "blanket" of freedom that it offers to us ... And they should be ashamed ... If you are so pro anything that's not american – why don't you go live there... What kind of last name is Shourd anyway??

    September 19, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. OMG!

    Again people stay out of the countries that hate America and what it stands for. there is nothing new about how dishonest this country is nor is it a surprise as to what they think and how they feel about americans and america so why do americans keep putting themselves in harms way just to vacation in these cruel countries. i don't wish harm to anyone,however, it's a little hard to be empathetic for anyone that doesn't think about their own safety just because they want to hike in a hostile country

    September 19, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. Samuel Bowler

    When will you folks tell this story like it really is. Shane Bauer was/is a freelance photographer/reporter who liked to insert himself into hot spots in the middle east. Iran was certainly a "hot spot" at this time. Is there seriously any questions in anyones mind about why he was "hiking" there and what his true intentions were. I have empathy for his pliight, but not for what got him there.

    September 19, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. how f-ing stupid


    September 19, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sarah


    September 19, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jimmy

    Iran should have kept her. She caused her own problems .

    September 19, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dondi

    She sure does "look" like she works for the CIA. It's a lame cover story. What serious hiker or backpacker worth his skree would pick the border of Iran of all places to do it. All the effort and resources to make a trip and you pick the border of Iran? Then, the waste of resources to get you out... on MY dime. >:[

    September 19, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jimmy

    She did have any busines in iran in the first placew , now shes back in the states acuing like a hero . She got what she deserved iran should have kept her . She needs to sit down and shut up. She is DUMB

    September 19, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jimmy

    Last comment should have read she didnt

    September 19, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hoss

    Send her home to iran

    September 19, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. If only...

    ...she could have taken out some of those humourless and gutless shltes while she was there.


    September 20, 2010 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dr. Wiison

    Maybe I'm missing something here??? If I am I'm sure you will let me know! Three private Americans just decide to "go for a hike" along the Iran/Iraq border while a war is going on???? How does one even begin to do that??? If these three aren't American spies I'm the Easter bunnny!!!!!!!! I can't even go for a walk after dark in my local park( it closes at dusk) and some how they go "hiking" over there??? How in the heck would someone even get over there???

    September 20, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. Popocatepetl

    From Damascus, Syria, one has to travel over 500 miles to get to the point where these folks entered N. Iraq. From there, one has to travel over 300 miles more, deep into the country, to get to Ahmed Awa, which is right next to Iranian border and only about 150 miles away from Baghdad. They are educated travelers who have years of experience working and living in unfamiliar countries; they’ve said so themselves. They knew exactly where they were and what they were doing.

    They intentionally went to an area (albeit legally), for PERSONAL gains as “journalists”, that’s literally sandwiched between a city where U.S soldiers are fighting and a border to a county the U.S is currently in bad relations with, and therefore risky for American civilians to be in.

    They are liars for saying they didn't know where they were in order to garner sympathy for what has turned into an unsuspected plight in Iran. They knew they were extremely close to the border.

    They are frauds for trying to deceive the public into believing that they were just “hiking” when they were intentionally engaging in risky behavior for their own personal gain: to be able to say, “hey, check out where WE went!”. Then write a story about how “cool” it was to be SO CLOSE to SO MUCH in a conniving attempt to bolster their careers.

    What they were doing in Damascus (teaching, showing the compassionate side of Americans) was already effective work as humanitarians. But they wanted to stand out. So, they went on “vacation” to pull a stunt – a stunt risky enough that the fourth “hiker” chickened out of it.

    They were foolish, acted deplorably, and have done more harm than anything else. And yet they plead for OUR help, for OUR money, for OUR support, for OUR letters, and for OUR government to get them out of trouble. The result: damaged relations all around and they’ll get a slap on the wrist and a book deal. Congratulations, their narcissistic ways just used everyone for easy money and a cush, undeserving privileged life.

    September 20, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Biff

      Have you read "The Four Letter Countries"? Apparently no one else has, either, but it explains a lot. Especially after she exited via Oman. Can we check her passport for stamps from Cuba, Laos, Peru, Togo, Chad and Fiji?

      September 21, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
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