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Iran 'Cancels' Release of U.S. Hiker

After inviting journalists to attend the Saturday release ceremony of one of the three American hikers detained since July 2009, Iran has gone back on its decision. Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said, “Because the legal procedure on her case is not finished, her release is canceled.” The three hikers, Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd—the one who was to be released—are being held on espionage charges, though they have no trial date. Espionage in Iran is punishable by death. The hikers’ plight has heightened the already high tensions between Tehran and Washington over Iran’s nuclear program. Back in February, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the three Americans might be traded for Iranians imprisoned in the United States.