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Thread: Iran Accuses U.S. Hikers of Espionage

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    Iran Accuses U.S. Hikers of Espionage

    As an avid backpacker and hiker with a taste for challenging backcountry forays, at first I could not imagine any reason I would choose Iraq as a destination; given current political conditions. Backpacking in the Kurdistan region of Iraq near the Iranian border? Where these kids foolish and naive? Seem so to me.

    Iran Accuses U.S. Hikers of Espionage By JACK HEALY and NAZILA FATHI
    Published: November 9, 2009


    Three American hikers who were arrested in Iran this summer after straying across its border with Iraq have been accused of spying, an Iranian state news agency reported on Monday.


    The Tehran prosecutor told Iran’s official IRNA news agency that the Iranian authorities were pursuing espionage charges against the Americans, who were detained in late July after trekking through the Kurdistan region of Iraq and toward the Iranian border. News of the spying accusations drew a quick rebuke from the White House and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, with each reiterating calls for the Iranians to release the hikers, Shane M. Bauer, 27, of Emeryville, Calif.; Joshua F. Fattal, 27, of Cottage Grove, Ore.; and Sarah E. Shourd, 31, of Oakland, Calif.


    “We believe strongly that there is no evidence to support any charge whatsoever,” Mrs. Clinton told reporters in Berlin. “And we would renew our request on behalf of these three young people and their families that the Iranian government exercise compassion and release them so they can return home.”


    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/wo.../10hikers.html

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    Re: Iran Accuses U.S. Hikers of Espionage

    How could they possibly be spying?

    What is there to spy on in Kurdistan?
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    Re: Iran Accuses U.S. Hikers of Espionage

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Enemy View Post
    How could they possibly be spying?

    What is there to spy on in Kurdistan?
    Good points. While I have known of people who hiked in that region, they were shall we say able to "afford" experienced guides and for supply drops. They thought enough of their situation to even shall we say, make sure some of their guides were more disposed to "protection" than hiking. And they stuck to well established trails and areas and were experienced world travelers and adventure seekers. Meaning they had a decade or so know how doing this kind of thing in what I'd call extreme conditions. These poor kids were really setting themselves up for trouble IMO. Would love to talk to their parents for a few minutes. I am certain that if they get out of this anytime soon, it has already been since July, they will have learned some seriously hard lessons.

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    Re: Iran Accuses U.S. Hikers of Espionage

    Every once in a while there's a news story here that some tourists out for a fishing trip in the Gulf accidentally entered Iranian waters and were picked up and detained by the Iranian military, but to my recollection they have all been held for a time (like, a month or so) then released. I can't remember now if any of the people I heard about were American, so I don't know if it's because they are American or because of the recent political issues that the hikers are being charged. So similar things have happened in the past, although I've only heard of it happening in the water, not on land; and to my knowledge no charges were ever brought.

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    Re: Iran Accuses U.S. Hikers of Espionage

    Quote Originally Posted by filfilksq View Post
    Every once in a while there's a news story here that some tourists out for a fishing trip in the Gulf accidentally entered Iranian waters and were picked up and detained by the Iranian military, but to my recollection they have all been held for a time (like, a month or so) then released. I can't remember now if any of the people I heard about were American, so I don't know if it's because they are American or because of the recent political issues that the hikers are being charged. So similar things have happened in the past, although I've only heard of it happening in the water, not on land; and to my knowledge no charges were ever brought.
    We can only hope you are right and that these ludicrous charges are dropped. Of course these three hikers have already been detained since July, so it has already been nearly 5 months.

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    Re: Iran Accuses U.S. Hikers of Espionage

    We can only hope you are right and that these ludicrous charges are dropped.
    I hope so, but am not hopeful. Sounds like they are going to be used (or attemped) as a political trump card.

    But just for information's sake, here's an accounting of some similar incidents:

    Iran releases 3 Finns seized in Persian Gulf - USATODAY.com

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    Re: Iran Accuses U.S. Hikers of Espionage

    The Iranians are convinced these people are spies because they probably think only an idiot would go to Iraq on vacation.
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