Iranian-American Mirzaei Hekmati was sentenced to death in Iran today after being accused of spying for the US – a charge leveled against Americans in Iran many times before.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today that US hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal would be released within two days. The Revolutionary Guard carried the message, implying support for the deal.
Switzerland froze the assets of Libya strongman Muammar Qaddafi and 26 other people from his entourage, less than two weeks after freezing assets belonging to Egypt's Hosni Mubarak.
American hiker Sarah Shourd's release was supposed to be a 'gift' from Ahmadinejad, who heads to the United Nations next week amid intense international pressure. But his actions riled conservatives in Iran.
Sarah Shourd: In Washington, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said the Obama administration is in close contact with the families of the detained hikers and the Swiss Embassy.
Sarah Shourd clemency: Iranian officials have announced that on Saturday they will release one of the Americans but said nothing about the fate of Americans Shane Bauer or Josh Fattal.
The saga of Iran nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri, who reportedly defected to the US last year, is a special case in the 31-year propaganda war between the US and Iran.
The American mothers who traveled to Iran to see detained US hikers Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd have left the country without securing their children's release. They did get another visit with them today.