Iranian Ex-Officials: U.S. Knew Hikers Were Seized in Iraq
Newsweek / Maziar Bahari

Every morning and afternoon Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer are allowed to step out of their cells and go for havakhori, Persian for getting fresh air, when they are allowed to walk or run for an hour in one of the many courtyards of Evin Prison in Tehran, where they are incarcerated. After more than 15 months in Evin, the two Americans must know every dark gray tile covering the floor; every red brick on the courtyard walls. Havakhori is probably the time when they most wonder about when they will be freed. Fattal and Bauer most likely close their eyes and imagine they are walking in their neighborhoods—in Philadelphia and Oakland, respectively. They also must wonder how they ended up in a Tehran jail and under what circumstances they will be released. But by now the pair must realize that their upcoming trial, on Nov. 6, has little to do with justice and what they may or may not have done. And they would be right. Former Iranian intelligence officials and diplomats have indicated to Newsweek that the two hikers are the victims of cultural misunderstanding, a factional struggle within the Iranian government, and a combination of geopolitical rivalry and tacit cooperation between Iran and the United States.

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