Klobuchar, Franken Relieved Iran Releases US Hikers

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken are relieved that two American men are now free after being jailed in Iran for more than two years on spying charges.

Franken says the families of Minnesota native Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal showed incredible strength and restraint while the two men were held in prison after being convicted by an Iranian court of spying for the United States.

“The families have been very strong, very disciplined. It would be easy for them to try to be mad at Iran and say things that wouldn’t be helpful,” said Franken. “If Americans and Minnesotans have the chance to meet the families, they would be extremely impressed.”

Franken said he saw a couple of pictures of Bauer and Fattal, and said they looked OK. He said he has not learned any more information about how they’re doing mentally or physically.

“We’ve been through a rollercoaster with this thing and I will really only breathe easily when Josh and Shane are out. Out of Iranian air space and back with their families who have been through an incredible ordeal,” Franken said.

The Minnesota Democrat and colleague Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced a resolution last year calling on the Iranian government to free the Americans, who, along with Sarah Shourd, were arrested in 2009 while hiking along the Iran-Iraq border.

“I’m looking forward to meeting Shane. I’ve obviously been working with the families who have been incredibly strong and also very concerned with how their kids are doing,” Franken said.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar also released the following statements regarding the release of Bauer and Fattal.

“I am relieved that Shane and Josh have survived this nightmare and are returning home to their families. Iran’s initial arrest of the three young hikers and continued detention and conviction of Shane and Josh was unwarranted, and the conflicting reports from Iranian officials regarding the men’s status only added to the heartbreak and emotional stress for their loved ones,” Klobuchar said. “I recently met with Shane’s mother in Pine City, MN, and as a mother myself I can only imagine how long and hard these two years have been for her and the rest of the families. I am overjoyed that they will finally be reunited.”

Both senators said they have met with and spoken repeatedly to the Swiss ambassadors to both the U.S. and Iran about the release.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Send all 3 back to Iran

    Hey Al forget about meeting the id iot. He and the other two should have served there sentence.

    • K

      exactly, what were they thinking anyway. Hey lets go hiking in a war zone/hostile territory. Could they have picked a worse place? They were out looking for attention and they got what they deserve for being idiots.

  • Al

    Well now we know who the negatives were of for all the ridiculous press coverage of these idiots!!

    • G.Young

      That Bauer idiot looks like Timmy from South Park….Timmy!!!

  • the cave

    In other news, bats fly from Al Frankens mouth.

  • kevin

    Al, time to move on to “fast and furious” and find out who’s really behind the killing of officer Terry. Time to put your connections to work and ferret out the guilty.

  • Molly

    Never thought I would live to see the day that a sociopath virus would affect society in such vast numbers. Hope you miscreants don’t plan on having children……….

    • Al

      Molly to be honest I really do feel for the families but these are not little kids that made a mistake but grown adults that were pretty dumb to either go into Iran or skirt the border so closely.
      They had become pawns in an international tug of war for the Iranians to use as leverage in world politics. Personally I think we have bigger fish to fry with Iran. These people aren’t even close to playing by the same civilized rules that we try to live by. To have put themselves and the United States in harms way to just see a pretty waterfall is just plain stupid in my humble opinion. That said I am glad they are getting to come home.

    • Mark

      Molly, have you gotten that vaccine that Rick Perry wants you to have? It’s for your own good.

  • Carl

    It’s a shame they couldn’t have traded Franken for those two clowns.

  • alsanopportunist

    Get your fat face in there Al! I remember you from Park High and yes you were every day. For real people.

  • rj

    I hope they slapped the snot out of them overthere. If not, it should be done here.

  • G Dog

    I would have paid to send Kevin and Carl to Iran to show those SOB’s what’s what.

  • wowee

    So Al and Amy are relieved. Wow, they’re so cool. This was an amazing story. I was riveted from start to finish.



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