US asks Iran to release American hikers

The US has asked Iran to release two Americans accused of spying and against whom a trial has started after nearly 18 months of their detention.

Washington: The US has asked Iran to release two Americans accused of spying and against whom a trial has started after nearly 18 months of their detention.

"We are aware that the trial is proceeding. I think it`s under way, but I believe there has been a continuance," State Department spokesman P J Crowley said.
"We continue to call on, you know, the government of
Iran to release the two hikers. They`ve been in custody for
far too long," he told reporters.

The Americans were arrested in July 2009 along the
Iraqi border. They claim they were hiking in Iraq`s Kurdistan
region and that if they crossed into Iran it was inadvertent.
Iran, however, pressed forward with spy charges that
could bring a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if
convicted.

PTI