US ‘Hikers’ Face Espionage Charges in Iran

White House Demands Release of Detainees

The three US citizens detained in July after illegally crossing the border from Iraqi Kurdistan into Iran have been formally charged with espionage by the Iranian judiciary, according to Iran’s Prosecutor-General.

Initially reported as tourists who strayed across the border, it was later revealed that the three were all freelance journalists, raising speculation they may have been snooping around for stories. If there is any evidence the three engaged in anything more formally espionage related, Iran has not been forthcoming with it.

With the US and Iran currently engaged in very high stakes negotiations over the nation’s nuclear program, it is speculated that the three hiker/journalists have become bargaining chips.

But the White House and US State Department are at least officially oblivious to this possibility, simply demanding that the three be released and insisting that they had done nothing wrong. Whether or not this strategy yields results remains to be seen.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of