Unfinished Business

Freed Hiker Meets With Ahmadinejad

Sarah Shourd, the American hiker just released after being held in Iran for 14 months, met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today and pleaded for the release of her fellow hikers, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal. She told ABC News, "I just want to thank Mr. Ahmadinejad for this gesture of allowing my mother and I to meet with him and for the mothers of Shane and Josh. It was a very gracious gesture and a good meeting." On Thursday, Shourd told Oprah Winfrey that almost all of the 14 months she spent in prison were spent in solitary confinement, and it wasn’t until after she’d been imprisoned for seven months that she was allowed to use the phone. After their first few months in prison, the group was allowed to meet for an hour each day. They called their Friday meetings “date night,” and Shourd dressed up for them by putting strawberry jelly on her lips. Shroud’s boyfriend, Bauer, proposed to her, using a string from his shirt for a ring. Shourd maintains that her group never entered Iran, but was captured by Iranian soldiers while hiking near what she called a popular tourist destination in northern Iraq, but Ahmadinejad claims the three hikers were American spies.