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Freed Hikers: Iran Held Us Because We’re American

Michael Nagle/Getty Images

NEW YORK (AP) – Two American hikers freed from an Iranian prison after more than two years in captivity say they were held simply because of their nationality.

Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer spoke at a news conference Sunday after arriving in New York.

In prepared remarks, Fattal says they’re grateful the Iranian government released them. But, he says, the Iranians do not “deserve undue credit for what they had no right and no justification to start in the first place.”

He says it was “clear to us from the very beginning that we were hostages.”

Two years ago, Bauer, Fattal and Fattal’s fiancee, Sarah Shourd, were detained by Iranian border guards while hiking in Iraq. They were charged with spying, but the three said they got lost. Shourd was released last year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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