The Iranian judiciary announced today that the two U.S. citizens imprisoned in Iran have not yet been granted release on bail.
Iranian media are reporting that the judiciary’s communications office has denied recent reports that Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal have been granted leave on bail. The office says the request for release on bail has been received and is being considered, and any report to the contrary is not valid.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an interview with NBC yesterday that the two U.S. nationals would be released within two days.
Bauer and Fattal were sentenced to eight years in prison last month for “illegal entry and spying for U.S. agencies.”
Their defence lawyer, Massoud Sahfii, also announced that he had informed his clients’ parents and the Swiss embassy of the judiciary’s decision to release the U.S. citizens on bail.
Parviz Sarvari, the head of Parliament’s Internal Security Commission, told Mehr News Agency: “If the Islamic Republic is to release the two U.S. spies without getting something in return from the U.S. government, this would be against the essence of the Islamic Revolution.”
“For the president to promise the release of the two spies without coordination with the judiciary is interference in the business of the judiciary,” Sarvari added. “According to the constitution, the executive branch has no power to decide the fate of people accused of espionage.”
Yesterday, reports indicated that the appellate court had decided to allow Bauer and Fattal to return to the U.S. on bail of $500,000 each, as their companion Sarah Shourd did last year. However, Ahmadinejad’s recent disputes with the executive and judicial branches of the government have apparently collided with this case, leaving the fate of the two Americans in limbo once again.