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Freed U.S. Hiker Sarah Shourd Lays Low in Oman

American Sarah Shourd stayed out of the spotlight for a second day Thursday, resting privately in Oman's sunny seaside capital after more than 13 months in an Iranian prison.

It is unclear how long the 32-year-old plans to stay in Oman. The Gulf Arab sultanate played a key role in securing her release by acting as intermediary and handling the details of her $500,000 bail.

Since arriving at a royal airfield aboard a private jet here late Tuesday, Shourd has had a medical checkup and spoke briefly by phone with the mothers of two other Americans - Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal - also detained along Iraq's border with Iran last year.

The U.S. Embassy in Muscat said Thursday it has been told by Shourd's family that she would not be speaking to the media in Oman except for a statement she plans to make immediately before leaving the country.

(Scroll down to watch Sarah Shourd's interview with Iranian TV)

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The mothers of the other jailed Americans - Laura Fattal and Cindy Hickey, Bauer's mother - said Wednesday they were encouraged by Shourd's release and hope their sons will be freed soon as well. They spoke with Shourd by phone for a few minutes Wednesday afternoon.

"She said they're very strong," Hickey said. "Their spirits are up and they have positive attitudes, and that too was a great relief to me."

The mothers are calling on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to bring their sons with him when he comes to New York for the United Nations General Assembly next week.

"I'm very, very happy Sarah is with Nora right now, but it's our time, time for Josh to be with me and, of course, Shane to be with Cindy," Fattal's mother Laura told "Early Show" co-anchor Erica Hill on Wednesday.

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Omani officials have offered few details of their involvement in securing Shourd's release.

To help secure Shourd's release, Oman, which is considered an ally by both Washington and Tehran, played intermediary for a $500,000 bail that satisfied Iranian authorities and apparently did not violate U.S. economic sanctions.

The source of the bail payment has not been disclosed, though it is likely that Oman's long-standing ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, played a key role in winning Shourd's freedom.

Shourd's attorney, Masoud Shafiei, said in Tehran that a "foreign individual paid the bail in Muscat" and insisted it was "neither a government nor an embassy."

But Mustafa Alani, the head of security studies at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai, questioned whether any money changed hands, suggesting instead that Oman may have made a promise to guarantee Shourd's bail to give authorities in Iran political cover.

The U.S. has thanked Oman for its assistance.

Shourd's American companions - her fiance Bauer and their friend Fattal - remain in Tehran's Evin Prison under indictment on espionage-related charges and could soon face trial. The three were detained along Iran's border with Iraq in July 2009 and later accused of spying. Convictions could bring sentences of up to 10 years in prison.

Their families say the Americans were innocent hikers in the scenic mountains of Iraq's Kurdish region and if they did stray across the border into Iran, they did so unwittingly.

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