Iran accuses the three US hikers of spying, an offense punishable by death. Sarah Shourd was released on bail in September, but Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer have now been held longer than the 1979 US Embassy hostages.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is making his first visit to Lebanon tomorrow. Hezbollah awaits with joy, its political opponents complain of Iranian meddling, and Israel is eying its northern border.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is backing a 'loyalty oath' to appease Israel's right wing, and there are indications that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be offered a two-month settlement freeze to keep peace talks going.