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    Homeward Bound

    Freed U.S. Hiker Leaves Iran

    Kamran Jebreili / AP Photo

    A yearlong nightmare is over for American Sarah Shourd, who is now heading home to the U.S. after spending a year in an Iranian prison for crossing into that nation’s boundaries. Departing from Oman, the small Gulf state that played an essential role in negotiating her release, Shourd thanked “the good, hospitable people of Oman,” and expressed hope that her two companions, one of whom is her fiancé, would also be released in time. Shourd, who says that she crossed into Iran accidentally, was freed earlier than the others due to a pre-cancerous condition and following intervention from both Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ahmadinejad has lobbied for the U.S. to release Iranian prisoners before he allows the other hikers to go free.