They must have finally found the judge. Iran cut short its game of brinkmanship and psychological warfare against the hikers and their families, but got a handsome payday for doing so. “Iran frees jailed US hiker ‘spies’ Bauer and Fattal,” from BBC News, September 21:
Two US men given an eight-year jail term by Iran for spying have been released on bail, reports say.
Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal are believed to have been in a convoy including Iranian, Swiss and Omani cars which has left Evin prison.
The pair were arrested in 2009 after crossing into Iran from Iraq, where they said they were hiking, and were sentenced in September this year.
Iran’s state news agency reports they have been flown out of the country.
The country’s judiciary reportedly set each bail at five billion rials ($500,000).
The two men, both 29, left the prison compound just minutes after their Iranian attorney, Masoud Shafiei, said he had finished the paperwork for their release, obtaining the signatures of two judges on a bail-for-freedom deal.
He told AFP news agency the bail funds had been provided by the state of Oman, a US Gulf ally which has good relations with Iran.
“Immediately after their release, the two American nationals left for Mehrabad airport,” the official Irna news agency reported.
It added that the Swiss ambassador to Tehran, who represents US interests in Iran, and a delegation from Oman were present when the hikers were released.
From Tehran’s international airport, the pair are being flown to a third country, expected to be Oman.
It ain’t over ’til it’s over:
US officials said they would only release a statement on the developments once the men had left Iran. […]
The release comes a day before Mr Ahmadinejad is expected in New York for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.