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December 09, 2009 

Politico: Iran Links U.S. Hikers Case to Iranians Detained in U.S.

A story by Laura Rozen posted on Politico today describes how Iran has apparently linked the release of the three American hikers detained in Iran since July to the release of several Iranian nationals being held in the U.S. on various charges, including violating U.S. export controls and sanctions laws. The article states:

Among those eleven names on the list, are eight Iranians who appear to have been charged with violating arms export control laws and taken into custody in the US, UK, France, Germany and Canada. The indictment against one of those men, Amir Hossen Ardebili, was only unsealed by the Justice Department last week, though he has been in US custody since early 2008, pled guilty in May 2008, and is serving time in a Philadelphia federal prison.
The article further notes that: 
 . . .if the list correlates with the one being presented behind closed doors, it would be disturbing that Iran is seemingly drawing an “equivalence” between the three young hikers who accidentally wandered into Iran, and arms dealers seeking to procure US weapons technology prohibited from being sent to Iran, US officials said.




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