Clinton "encouraged" by news of Ahmadinejad's plans to release American hikers in Iran
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday she was "encouraged" by news that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plans to free Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, American hikers currently in prison in Iran, and expressed tempered optimism concerning the prospect of the men's release.
"We have followed this very closely and we are encouraged by what was said today, but I will not comment further on that," Clinton said in a press conference on Tuesday.
She added: "We obviously hope we see a positive outcome from what appears to be a decision by the government."
Iranian officials in Tehran have confirmed to CBS News that Ahmadinejad intends to release Bauer and Josh , both 29, in the coming 48 hours. A lawyer for the young men told CBS News that bail has been set at $500,000 each.
The two hikers, along with a female companion who has since been released to the United States, were arrested more than two years ago while hiking along the border of Iraq and Iran. They were sentenced to eight years in prison for espionage and illegally entering the country.
A spokesperson for the Fattal and Bauer families told CBS News they have heard the news, "and we're hopeful."
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