The mothers of three American hikers imprisoned in Iran for 10 months are desperately hoping they won't have to return from Tehran without their children. The women have been granted visas and are departing for the United Arab Emirates from New York this morning to visit their children, who have been held in Iran since July when they were arrested along the Iraqi border. Nora Shourd, Cindy Hickey, and Laura Fattal said they will also appeal to Iranian leaders to release the three.
Sarah Shourd, 31; her boyfriend, Shane Bauer, 27; and their friend Josh Fattal, 27, have been accused of spying, but they have not been charged with a crime. The mothers said their children have not been allowed access to their Iranian lawyer and have spoken to relatives only once by telephone, on March 9 for just a few minutes. "We are overjoyed that we will soon be able to hug our children, but our joy is naturally clouded by the fear of returning home without Shane, Sarah, and Josh," the mothers said in a statement yesterday.