Chaotic Republic of Iran
The Dallas Morning News / Tod Robberson

There's an eerie similarity between the current saga of the three American hikers being held by Iran and the experience of Haleh Esfandiari in 2007. In both cases, the Iranian government claimed that the people arrested were spies. They were held for months while a trial was conducted. All indications were that some lengthy prison sentence would be handed down.

When it was all said and done, it turned out that all the Iranians really wanted was money. Ransom money. Which means Iran's government has become one big kidnapping and extortion mafia.

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