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. saywhat

    It sure would be interesting to see what happens if we catch a couple of Iranians wandering in from South of the border. Probably would send them back home with a bouqet & dough nuts.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. rudi

    Sean Penn, Ahamehajad, Chavez.....the "holly Triangel" wwwTheDimensionMachineDOTcom

    September 29, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. fistface

    There really is nothing wrong with Chavez and how he handles himself. The real problem is in the history books, America worked hard to undermine governments in that region and did everything they could to sway things toward American interests. Our Government's past activities in the affairs of other nations, and greedy agenda's have brought America past the time when we actually stood for something we believed in and felt proud. We only have one option if we get more bad apples in government this next election.. and that is to completely revolt.... stop paying our debtors, refuse any and all government regulation, and stick it too the corporations.... and no I am not liberal, conservative, democrat, or republican.... and I also think that the Union Guy making 30 bucks an hour too sweep a damn floor is also to blame.....

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

    There are more folks up on the Hill & among GOP 'front-runners' and the tea-baggers who are intellectually challenged & downright wacko than Americans like Sean Penn who do some good.
    What is embarrassing to this nation is that we listen & pay heed to them @ Bob.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jo

    I am a fan of Penn and Chevas!!! Thanks!!!!

    September 29, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Good for you ~~~~~~

      September 29, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy

      Maybe you could learn to spell your idol's name, imbecile

      September 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      C'mon. Really?

      September 29, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • sergio

      You dont know what you are talking about, maibe you are refering to the scotch! Chevas!!, CHAVEZ el dictador.

      September 29, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    Don't you know that telling it as it is no longer suits us. Wait till you see responses you receive to your comments.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John

    Thats BS, Chavez is a joke like the other joker they should send both there navys bring it on!

    September 29, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Shelly Stone

    "....but what really cinched the deal was Mr. Hand showing up and forcing Ahmadinejad to have a history lesson to make up for the time he had wasted in his class.."

    September 29, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sergio

    Chavez s a comunist as a Venezuelan I know, people is starving to death while he gives money to other countries.
    Is a Dictator no better than Kadafi.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. keith

    Yeah just a PR stunt by Sean Penn...

    September 29, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Xavier Pattonson

    When the day is done, you have 3 immature people, a foolish government, and some outside infuential people trying to correct the kind of messes child-like fools tend to find themselves in, and CNN's written proof of the universal tenet that arm-chair observers, on matters of facts they don't know, will invent scenarios to fit their biases, in which, the more greatly uninformed or ego-driven, the more wild the speculation or suggestion of their own superiority, and the more their certainty of being right, amid the greater certainty their conjecture is propped up with other predjudices, and that were the actual facts known-or whem they are-the most vociferous would be the first to tell you that is, whatever reality is, is what they thought all along. Yet, that won't make them more cautious, but in this age of 'Double Down,' gives them a license to be even more stupid next time. Fix that, and you have fixed America.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. saywhat

    As for Sean Penn faring as an actor. He was nominated five times for Academy Awards & won two oscars. Hollywood & his peers think that he is a brilliant actor.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snap

      and I think he is not that great. Try not to watch anything he is in.

      September 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      I agree but CNN should have all the facts before reporting this can they confirm it happend???? or are they just going on Chavez word???? watching E TV nothing yet lmao

      September 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. John

    Chavez should go crall back under the rock he came from and for CNN get Penn on the phone! lets call this out!!!!

    September 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joe

    Now the lefties want to take credit.......Penn should stick to acting, he definitely needs the practice.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. WOw, Penn UR adope

    Sean Penn is a dope and a moron, now he's a dictators friend.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
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