Next week could open a new chapter in the history of the United States and Iran—there are tentative signs of a possible sea change in Iran with newly elected Iranian President Hasan Rouhani. Iran's repositioning has caused some skepticism from the West, but joining us to explain the significance of the country's charm offensive is Thomas Erdbrink, Tehran bureau chief for our partner The New York Times.
Two years after Americans Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal were captured by the Iranian government while hiking along the Iran-Iraq border and charged with espionage, their lawyer says they may be freed on Wednesday. The news comes a week after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told The Today Show that the hikers would be freed, only to be rebuffed by Iran's judiciary, which said only it could release the prisoners. Now, Masoud Shafiei, the Iranian lawyer acting on behalf of Bauer and Fattal, says he expects his client to be "freed today."
The State Department has confirmed that two Americans who have been imprisoned in Iran have been released. Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal were captured by the Iranian government while hiking along the Iran-Iraq border and charged with espionage two years ago. The fate of the two men has been unclear since last week when, a day after President Mahmoud Amadinedjad told The Today Show that the hikers would be freed, Iran's judiciary said Ahmadinejad had no authority to release them. The men were released on $1 million bail.
Sarah Shourd, one of three American hikers arrested last year when they crossed the Iraqi border into Iran, has been released from prison this morning. The hikers were accused of spying by Iran. For the latest on this story, we're joined by BBC Persian correspondent Bahman Kalbasi. We also speak to Thomas Erdbrink of the Washington Post. He just spoke with Shourd's Iranian attorney.