Iran says 3 illegal Americans should stand trial

Iran reiterated on Sunday that three Americans jailed a year ago should stand trial on charges of illegally crossing the country's borders.

Iran says 3 illegal Americans should stand trial

Iran reiterated on Sunday that three Americans jailed a year ago should stand trial on charges of illegally crossing the country's borders.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran is also considering other possible charges against Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal including intentionally acting against Iranian security, according to a state media report. There has been no indication from Iran so far that formal charges against the three have been filed.

The Americans' families and the U.S. government say the three are innocent and accidentally crossed Iran's border while hiking in northern Iraq.

"The above matter is a purely judicial issue and will be thus pursued within this framework," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by the semi-official news agency Fars on Sunday.

"Any effort to impact the above individuals' legal proceedings through political pressure or media scenarios ... will have no bearing on the Iranian judiciary's independent approach," he said.

That was an apparent reference to a statement Obama made on Friday marking the Americans' 12 months in arrest. He said the three had "committed no crimes" and that their continued imprisonment violated human rights conventions.

Mehmanparast said the three American prisoners have been offered support from the Swiss embassy, which looks after U.S. interests in Iran in the absence of diplomatic relations. They were also allowed to meet their mothers in May.

Iran has alleged in the past that the three were spies for the United States.

Iran is still investigating spying allegations, Mehmanparast said.

"The three American nationals were detained ... due to illegal entry into Iranian territory. Consequently their violation is obvious and they will have to go before the law like any other individual.

"Meanwhile, other probable charges against them, such as counter-security measures or intentions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, are being investigated by the relevant authorities."

Iran says numerous Iranian citizens are in secret detention in the United States including a former deputy defence minister who vanished in 2007. Iranian media have often linked the case of the Americans to the fate of these alleged Iranian detainees.


Agencies

Last Mod: 01 Ağustos 2010, 13:59
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