Tehran : Iran Monday declared its readiness to issue visas for the mothers of the three detained US hikers, state media reported.
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on state television that mothers of the three hikers could obtain visas at Iran’s United Nations mission in New York.
Mottaki said the decision had solely humanitarian – and not political – reasons.
The three US hikers were detained in July by Iran when they strayed across the border from Iraq’s Kurdish region. They have been held in Tehran’s Evin prison.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had on several occasions said that the three hikers entered Iran without legal permission, making a de facto border violation and in every country there were harsh punishments for such a violation.
The president however also noted that Iran would be ready to release the three hikers in exchange for Iranian prisoners in the United States.