Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the slithering president of Iran, has made a promise to America -- and one of its most devoted mothers.
Ahmaedinejad told the Washington Post he'll release Minnesota native Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, the two 29-year-olds who were sentenced last month to eight years in an Iranian prison for "spying."
According to their versions, Bauer, a freelance journalist and photographer, was just trying to get to Iraqi Kurdistan, and Fattal was just along for the ride. The always-paranoid Iranian authorities detained, prosecuted, and convicted the two men, along the way charging Bauer's girlfriend, Sara Shourd, in absentia, also for "spying."
In an exclusive interview with the Washington Post, Ahmadinejad wouldn't give up the farcical "spying" allegations, but did say he'd be sending Bauer and Fattal home as a "unilateral humanitarian gesture."
Hey, whatever you've gotta say, man. Just send those guys home.
Bauer and Fattal have already spent two years in detention in Iran, after the two of them, along with Shourd, were picked up hiking somewhere near the Iranian border in 2009. Minnesota's U.S. Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar had tried pressuring Iranian authorities to release the innocent men, but had been forced to do so through Swiss diplomats because the U.S. has no official relations with Iran.
Shourd was eventually released, and allowed to return home to visit her family after posting a $500,000 bail. Shourd never returned to face Iranian "justice," and last month Iranian state television reported that the case against Shourd is not closed. Bauer's mother, Cindy Hickey, went on a hunger strike in May, trying to gain attention and win her son's release, but to no avail.
After a weird, tilted trial, Bauer and Fattal were sentenced to eight years in Evin Prison, a permanent residence for Iranian political prisoners, and also one of the most notoriously violent slammers in that country.
Ahmadinejad's full statements to the Washington Post indicate he still thinks he's talking about a couple of American double agents.
"I am helping to arrange for their release in a couple of days so they will be able to return home," Ahmadinejad said. "This is of course going to be a unilateral humanitarian gesture."
Right: We're supposed to think what a magnanimous, forgiving leader Ahmadinejad is for sending back these two threatening Americans, when in fact he's releasing two people who were convicted in one of the least fair courts in the world. Ahmadinejad went on to refer to Bauer and Fattal's release as a "unilateral pardon," again spinning himself as the good guy.
Bauer and Fattal's lawyer Massoud Shaffi said he had heard from court officials that the two of them would each need to post a $500,000 bond -- matching the amount Shourd paid to return home -- in order to be freed. What price freedom? That price. Sounds like Iran's oil money might be all spent up, and they're willing to turn "spies" into hostages for the right amount.
If someone, like say, the U.S. Treasury, can come up with $1 million, these two guys can probably be sleeping in their own beds by next week.