Iran’s chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi has announced that one of the three Americans imprisoned over allegedly spying will be released.
Sarah Shourd, who along with Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were arrested last year after hiking across the Iraq-Iran border, will be released on $500,000 bail due to her increasing health problems including a breast lump and precancerous cervical cells. Several officials report the release is an act of clemency to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
President Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod commented, “Obviously we are hopeful and encouraged by this news but there have been starts and stops in this before and until that actually happens, we are on a wait-and-see basis.” Initially reporters had been invited to a hotel in Tehran on Saturday to witness Shourd’s release, but were told her release would be postponed.
While Jafari-Dolatabadi contends there are “enough reasons to accuse the three of espionage,” the three have remained in solitary confinement without trial. Under Iranian law, the offense can be punnishable by death.
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