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Iran continues to investigate detained US hikers

The US president Barack Obama calls for the immediate release of three US hikers in Iran after being detained in the country for a year.

TEHRAN // Iran said today that three American hikers detained in Tehran for a year are being investigated by the authorities for possible actions aimed at harming the security of the Islamic republic. The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said it was "evident" that the three ? Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah Shourd, 31, and Josh Fattal, 27 ? had entered the country illegally. But "their other possible actions and intentions against the security of the Islamic republic are being probed by relevant authorities," he was quoted as saying on the website of state television.

The three Americans were arrested on July 31 last year after they reportedly strayed into Iran from across the border with Iraq. On Saturday, Kazem Jalali, the spokesman for parliament's foreign policy committee, said their case was being processed by the judiciary. On Friday, the US President Barack Obama called on Iran to "immediately release" the three hikers, saying they had never worked for the US government and had committed "absolutely no crime."

Obama's appeal marked the anniversary of the hikers' arrest in Iran. * AFP

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