Josh Fattal (left) and Shane Bauer spent more than two years in jail on charges of spying and illegal entry
Josh Fattal (left) and Shane Bauer speak at a press conference in New York. Iran has denied accusations by two freed US hikers who said Tehran had used them as "hostages" in its power struggle with the West, local media reported. © Michael Nagle - AFP/Getty Images
Josh Fattal (left) and Shane Bauer spent more than two years in jail on charges of spying and illegal entry
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AFP
Last updated: October 19, 2011

Iran denies claims by freed US hikers

Iran on Monday denied accusations by two freed US hikers who said Tehran had used them as "hostages" in its power struggle with the West, local media reported.

"The comments made by the two are contrary to reality. We had foreseen them saying so, and regardless of when we released them they would have said such things against Iran," Iran's prosecutor-general Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal on Sunday accused the Islamic republic of using them as "hostages" in its power struggle with the West and described hearing the anguished cries of fellow inmates being beaten in Tehran's Evin prison.

They were freed from prison in Tehran on Wednesday, after more than two years in jail on charges of spying and illegal entry.

The pair, both 29, was arrested with Sarah Shourd near the mountainous border with Iraq on July 31, 2009. All three have always maintained they are innocent of spying and simply strayed across the border into Iran.

Shourd, 33, was released last year on $500,000 bail, after the Gulf state of Oman agreed to pay the sum. Oman also paid bail of $400,000 each for Fattal and Bauer.

On August 21, Bauer and Fattal were each sentenced to eight years in prison by a revolutionary court in Tehran on charges of espionage and illegal entry. They have appealed against the ruling.

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