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Lawyer Hopes Iran May Release U.S. Citizens Soon


Cindy Hickey, the mother of jailed American Shane Bauer, speaks at a Washington press conference in May 2011, nearly two years into her son's ordeal.

Cindy Hickey, the mother of jailed American Shane Bauer, speaks at a Washington press conference in May 2011, nearly two years into her son's ordeal.

The lawyer for the two U.S. nationals detained in Iran on espionage charges has expressed hope that authorities there might free his clients in coming days.

Josh Fattal, Shane Bauer, and Sarah Shourd were arrested by Iranian forces in July 2009 on suspicion of spying after crossing into Iran from Iraq.

Shourd was freed on bail in September 2010 and returned to the United States.

All three deny the spying charges and say they crossed the border unintentionally.

The fourth court session for Bauer and Fattal was slated to be held on July 31.

The lawyer, Massoud Shafiee, told the ISNA news agency he hoped that the session for the two U.S. nationals will be the last one and that their two-year imprisonment will be considered sufficient punishment for any wrongdoing.

U.S. officials have dismissed Iranian suggestions that they were spies.

compiled from agency reports

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